For the ninth consecutive year, hunger and poverty have intensified in 2023. The FAO records a 50% increase in the number of food insecure people during 2014-23 and now considers 40% of the human population unable to afford a healthy diet. The media blame conflict, weather, and local corruption, mostly disregarding transnational structural factors that fuel those drivers of poverty and greatly aggravate their effects. ASAP and the Yale Global Justice Program made these deeper causes the focus of our 2023 annual conference Structural Change, whose video recordings are appearing here.
2023 Amartya Sen Essay Winners & AGAPE Report
At the conference, the three winners of the Tenth Annual Sen Essay Prizes: Bilal Moin, Chad Osorio, and Alexander Jacobs – chosen from among 25 entries and honored in partnership with Global Financial Integrity – presented their work related to illicit cross-border flows of money and goods. Srilakshmi Vajrakarur delivered a progress report on the projects in India that had received Ambedkar Grants for Advancing Poverty Eradication in the inaugural year of this new AGAPE initiative.
2023 ASAP Awards
In addition, we inaugurated three new annual ASAP Awards: Henry Shue was honored with the ASAP Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong work on poverty, rights, and climate. Darrell Moellendorf won the ASAP Book Award Monograph of the Year for his Mobilizing Hope: Climate Change and Global Poverty. Kayleigh Garthwaite, Ruth Patrick, Maddy Power, and Rosalie Warnock received the ASAP Book Award Anthology of the Year for their COVID-19 Collaborations: Researching Poverty and Low- Income Family Life during the Pandemic.
2023 Poverty and Migration Webinar
ASAP hosted a transformative Poverty and Migration Webinar, an illuminating event that convened distinguished experts such as Dr. Teresita Cruz Del Rosario, Dr. Nita Mishra, Dr. Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, and Dr. Joseph A. Yaro. Del Rosario explored migration as a poverty-alleviation strategy, while Mishra highlighted education’s role. Wihtol de Wenden analyzed structural factors in international migration, and Yaro provided a thought-provoking discussion on migrants’ journeys from poverty to opportunity. This enriching webinar exemplifies ASAP’s commitment to deepening understanding and fostering actionable insights on global issues.
ASAP Fellowship & ASAP Journal
Additionally, led by Board Member Mihai Lupu, we inaugurated a new ASAP Fellows program that will offer young poverty-focused scholars, predominantly from lower-income countries, the opportunity of structured mentorship by members of ASAP’s Board and Advisory Board. Led by Board Member Michal Apollo, Journal ASAP published its third volume with the three essays that won the ninth annual Amartya Sen Essay Prize competition plus a comment on the African Union’s new membership in the G20, which ASAP has helped mobilize support for. A special issue on food security in Africa is also in progress.
The T20 is an international network of think tanks developing ideas for the G20. During India’s G20 Presidency last year, our Indian partner RIS, led by Yale Global Justice Fellow Sachin Chaturvedi, played a lead role in the T20, enabling us to contribute several policy papers: proposing AU membership in the G20, an Ubuntu Health Impact Fund, a UN Parliamentary Assembly, and an Ecological Impact Fund. Collaborating with partners in Brazil, we seek to build on this momentum during Brazil’s G20 Presidency, which President Lula has devoted to the fight against the institutional causes of poverty, hunger, and inequality. One opportunity here is a T20 side event we are organizing on March 11, 2024, at Brazil’s Supreme Court on the
invitation of its President: Minister Luís Roberto Barroso. In view of the AU’s new G20 membership and the coming G20 Presidency of South Africa in 2025, we will continue to foreground African needs and voices.
Academics Stand Against Poverty is still more wish than reality. But if even just one in a thousand scholars and educators were actively to join us, we would stand a real chance to achieve at least that small shift in the global distribution needed to end the more severe forms of poverty. A joint effort against severe poverty can also bring people and nations together, build mutual trust and respect, and set humanity on a path toward resolving our differences without resorting to the kind of horrific violence that the past year has brought
Thank you for being among the few.
Dr. Thomas Pogge