Eradication of Poverty
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a UN observance celebrated on the 17th of October every year. The theme for this year is a call to action to help eradicate poverty worldwide with a focus on inclusive and peaceful societies.
The day began in 1987, in Paris, in the Human rights and liberties Plaza and was started by a man named Father Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World. The text on the commemorative stone in the plaza reads “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty”
As Father Joseph Wrensiski once lived in intense poverty himself the day has the specific goal of including and listening to people in poverty and recognising them as part of our society while trying to help them get out of poverty itself.
(The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) predicts that sub-Saharan Africa will be home to 90 percent of all children living in poverty and 43 percent of all impoverished people worldwide by 2030)
Poverty is one of the largest factors in determining whether or not someone will have all their human rights met. More than 3 billion people live on less than $2:50 a day and over 1 billion children are in poverty. According to UNICEF, someone dies of starvation every 4 seconds. The statistics are simply horrible. Of the over 300 million children who go to bed hungry every night only about 9% of people live in areas affected by famine, the other 91% are just people living in poverty.
The causes of poverty are wide-ranging but can include economic changes, lack of social services, wars and conflict, lack of education, overpopulation, epidemic disease, natural disasters and many many more.
There are however some solutions, but it won’t be easy. As there is a wide range of reasons that people become impoverished, the solutions to poverty must likewise be wide-ranging. Some of the core areas to focus on include, helping maintain stable family life, improving education and making it more inclusive and accessible to everyone in society, providing wider and cheaper access to healthcare services, bettering access to clean water and good nutrition, improving training and skills and providing stable employment opportunities.
(43 million Americans live below the poverty line.)
Education is one of the strongest barriers against poverty, particularly for girls. Educated women are more productive at home and better paid in the workplace, they are more likely to have fewer and more healthy children, they are 50% less likely to contract AIDS/HIV and they are more likely to marry later. A child born to a mother who can read and write is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5. On the whole, they are more likely to be able to participate in decision making and the economic effect of having more women in the workforce is very beneficial to all in society. Each extra year of education for a girl can add a potential 15-20% to her future income.
Poverty affects every race, colour, gender and state. Even in America, the supposedly “greatest country on Earth” 13,5 percent of its population live under the poverty line. The Netherlands leads the way with only 1.7% of its population being impoverished. There is not a country in the world that does not have a percentage of its population living in poverty. International eradication of poverty day helps to remind us of our responsibility as humans to try and come together to end the sufferings of our fellow human beings