The World Bank conceives that a future without poverty depends on development (World Bank 1997). This conception supports the one-size-fits-all philosophy of using economic development as a tool for poverty eradication which was embraced in structural adjustment programmes in the 1990s. However, this approach essentially failed to work for the developing world (Machemedze 2003).
Poverty is a specific, localised and contextual experience (OHCHR 2004). It is multidimensional and multifaceted. It exists in different forms in the world, ranging from chronic to recent poverty. Its eradication, therefore, requires multi-pronged and dynamic approaches. Whether chronic or recent, the cross-cutting element in poverty is always the deprivation and gross disempowerment of the poor. The underlying cause is usually the inequity in the economy and the absence of social safety nets for the vulnerable; hence the emerging view that poverty is a denial of human rights.