reduction through solidarity efforts,
"Concern for and solidarity with the poverty-stricken, marginalized sections of the society by the rest of its population can make significant change possible through poverty eradication in the least developed countries, which are the poorest segment of the international community. This observation was made by United Nations High Representative Anwarul K. Chowdhury following his two-day visit to Tunisia at the invitation of Foreign Minister Mr. Habib Ben Yahia in February 2004. The objective of the visit was to observe Tunisia's experience in combating poverty and to see how that experience can be replicated in the least developed countries, particularly those in Africa. Tunisia's successful experience in fighting poverty and social exclusion has reduced its poverty rates to 4.2% through a special focus on the under-privileged to provide them housing, safe drinking water, electricity and roads.
During his visit the High Representative had extensive discussions with the Foreign Minister Mr. Habib Ben Yahia, Minister for Economic Development and International Cooperation, Mr. Mohammed Jouini, and Minister for Social Affairs and Solidarity, Mr. Chedly Neffati. The Tunisian experience of poverty reduction through creation of a National Solidarity Fund has already been replicated in Mali. Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal are in the process of exploring opportunities to set up respective National Solidarity Fund. Tunisian authorities informed the High Representative of their offer to provide technical assistance to these and other least developed countries, particularly those in Africa, to benefit from the country's experience in poverty reduction.
Welcoming the establishment
of the World Solidarity Fund by the United Nations General Assembly to
support international efforts for eradicating poverty, the High Representative
emphasized the need for resources from this Fund to go to the least developed
countries as their needs are the greatest.
25 February 2004