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Addressing poverty

Jul 06,2014 - Last updated at Jul 06,2014

When Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour presided over a meeting on Saturday of the Higher Committee for funding small- and medium-sized enterprises in various regions of the country, he was sending a clear message that his government is well aware that there has been much talk about improving regional development plans but little action. 

Various flash points in the country, especially Maan where civil strife has become a common occurrence, can obviously be attributed to poverty and unemployment. 

It has been documented over and over again by specialised UN agencies that poor economic conditions and deprivation drive people to crime and even terrorism and are also the root causes of political instability. 

Now that the prime minister has put his finger on the wound that hurts most in the country, it is high time that his instructions to speed up funding of SMEs proceed with maximum speed. 

There is no more time to lose. 

Some projects that are urgently needed to alleviate living conditions may not be viable economically but they could be more than viable both socially and politically. 

The government must reach out to neglected areas of the country, especially the southern region, to bring hope and promise to their inhabitants.

Pockets of poverty anywhere in the country must be addressed and what better way than securing finance for small- and medium-sized economic projects. 

It does not take much money to create such business opportunities that are therefore within the reach of the government. 

All that is needed now is the political will to start this regional planning in earnest.

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