potential of small towns and secondary cities in reducing poverty
in both rural and urban areas and in redirecting rural-urban migration
from mega-cities. Sixty percent of the urban population of Asia
and the Pacific or 800 million people, live in cities of 1 million
or less. Of the region’s 800 million poor, 600 million live
in rural areas. Due to demand inelasticity and increasing competition
in the agricultural sector, jobs are created in secondary and
tertiary sectors of the economy, which are largely urban based.
Rural-urban migration is not only inevitable but also desirable
as it allows labour to move to sectors of the economy where it
can be more productive. However, rural-urban migration to mega-cities
may be undesirable as it may contribute to the diseconomies of
scale of these cities. Many small towns and secondary cities serve
as trading and value adding centres for agricultural and other
primary goods. They also serve as centres for providing economic
and social services to the rural populations, particularly the
rural poor. These towns and cities also have the potential to
link small and medium sized rural and urban enterprises to the
global markets. Thus, there is a need to identify the mechanisms
and policy interventions and investments, including development
of physical, economic and social linkages to rural areas and to
national and global markets needed to fulfil the potential of
these cities and towns for job creation, alleviating poverty and
redirecting rural-urban migration from mega-cities.
This project will help the target groups put in place procedures
and mechanisms to formulate, implement and monitor poverty reduction
initiatives at the local level. The project will contribute towards
tackling the problem:
- By identifying practices and local
level development strategies that utilize rural-urban linkages
as the basis of poverty reduction initiatives;
- By strengthening the capacity of the
stakeholders including government institutions in the selected
cities/towns to undertake poverty reduction.
- Populations of secondary cities/towns
and their surrounding rural areas selected in the pilot projects.
The project is expected to have a special impact of poor women
in rural areas, in particular on female-headed household.
- Local government officials.
Links to related documents:
Alleviation through Rural-Urban Linkages: Policy implications
linkages for poverty reduction. A review of selected approaches
from Asia and the Pacific