The Chief Executive of Oxfam was the guest speaker as the Cardiff Business Club met last night, speaking on a range of issues including child poverty.
Dame Barbara Stocking started by talking about the history of Oxfam, explaining how it was set up in 1942 to aide civilians in Greece during World War Two.
Dame Barbara spoke of the need for corporate responsibility with regards to climate change and the impact it has on the world’s poor.
“If we are not very careful, the poorest in the world are just going to suffer more and more,” she said.
But Dame Barbara was also asked about child poverty in Wales and the likelihood of its eradication by 2020.
“I don’t know whether child poverty in Wales will be eradicated by 2020. None of these things are impossible.”
Dame Barbara was unable to comment further on the issue, claiming she did not know the details behind the Welsh Government’s policy on child poverty.
Stephen Doughty, the head of Oxfam Cymru, said: “I don’t know if government have grasped the aspects of child poverty. It’s going to be very difficult. It’s also about what the UK government does.”
Edwina Hart, the Welsh Assembly minister for business, enterprise, technology and science said: “She has reminded us of our responsibilities in government.”
Speaking about child poverty Mrs Hart said: “It’s an issue across the place, not just in Wales.”
The number of children living in low-income households has risen by five per cent over the past five years, the equivalent of around 200,000 children. Mr Doughty talked about the impact both parents being out of work can have on the children and stressed the need for change in this current economic climate.
“It’s obviously a very difficult situation at the moment,” he said. Hear more of what he had to say here
In December last year First Minister Carwyn Jones said it was a priority of the Welsh government to eradicate child poverty.
“There is no greater priority for me or the Welsh Government than ensuring that our children have the best possible start in life,” he said.