We need a new approach to risk and poverty reduction. Major external risks, such as climate change and food price volatility, are increasing faster than attempts to reduce them. Many risks are dumped on poor people, and women face an overwhelming burden.
In many places of recurrent crises, the response of governments and the international aid sector is not good enough. A new focus on building resilience offers real promise to allow the poorest women and men to thrive despite shocks, stresses, and uncertainty – but only if risk is more equally shared globally and across societies. This will require a major shift in development work, which for too long has avoided dealing with risk. More fundamentally, it will require challenging the inequality that exposes poor people to far more risk than the rich.