The key to ending poverty is setting practical goals regarding poverty reduction. It is not enough to have a vague sense of purpose and direction. With concrete objectives, the most well-meaning intentions can be realized. The challenge for those working to combat poverty is to find meaningful metrics to measure progress and create achievable steps that will bring about real change.
Eradicating extreme poverty rates for all by 2030 is a primary ambition of the Sustainable Development Agenda. In the three years between 2015 to 2018, global poverty decreased from 10.1 percent to 8.6 percent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted a sharp blow to these efforts, leading to an alarming surge in extreme poverty - with 9.2 percent recorded this past year.
In fact, due to rising inflation and the effects of the armed conflict in Ukraine, we can anticipate around 75 - 95 million people to be pushed into poverty. The combined force of all these disasters strikes a devastating yet telling blow – undoing 25 years of progress in one fell swoop.
1. Eliminating Poverty Through Equity
For those living in poverty, the key to eliminating it is through equity: considering the root causes of poverty and striving towards creating a society where everyone has an equal chance of thriving. Making this possible requires looking at social and economic disparities, ensuring access to education and work opportunities, and offering essential services such as healthcare and housing.
The strategies for reducing poverty and advancing fairness are clear-cut:
- Investing in educational programs.
- Promoting economic expansion and job prospects.
- Providing access to affordable healthcare.
- Dealing with discrimination due to any difference.
- Augmenting social safety nets.
- Boosting the availability of affordable housing.
All these measures, when taken together, help create a more equitable state by lessening the burden of poverty on those who find themselves without sufficient means to support themselves.
2. Reducing Poverty With Resilience
Poverty reduction through resilience necessitates cultivating the capacity of people, communities, and systems to withstand and bounce back from shock and strain. This includes a variety of initiatives, such as:
Enhancing social protection: Programs like jobless benefits in rural areas, food aid, and accommodation assistance help give people in poverty a cushion and diminish fiscal disparity.
Raising community resilience: Teams can work together to refine fortitude by forming local resources and networks to assist one another during tough times.
Publicizing economic multiplicity: Encouraging the maturation of an array of economic activities can minimize the susceptibility of communities to financial chaos.
Upgrading Foundation: Investing in infrastructures, such as itineraries, educational institutions, and health facilities, can boost the hardiness of communities.
Increasing natural resource authority: Ensuring that natural and economic resources are overseen sustainably can reduce the vulnerability of communities to climatic catastrophes and other environmental crises.
Advancing fiscal awareness and savings: Encouraging people to save money and oversee their accounts adequately can augment their strength against financial pressures and ameliorate poverty.
For generations, the Democratic Republic of Congo, a county in Sub-Saharan Africa, has been entrenched in a volatile conflict since declaring independence from Belgium in 1960. This long-standing strife has left millions of Congolese exposed and impoverished, whether living in hostile regions or huddled away in overcrowded refugee camps. When another disaster strikes, like the Ebola epidemic of 2019 or the Nyiragongo volcano erupting in 2021, those suffering cannot cope with the additional strain on their limited resources.
The need for resilience is greater now than ever before. We must assist the most destitute and at-risk communities in preparing for any impending calamities - be it human-caused or natural disasters. As the definition of resilience continues to evolve, it requires us in the humanitarian aid and development sector to take concrete steps in anticipating such disruptions.
3. Committing to Climate Change Solutions and Justice
Taking decisive action to combat climate change and guarantee equitable outcomes necessitates a multifaceted approach. We can start by reducing our contributions to greenhouse gases, transitioning the power grid to renewable energy sources, facilitating efficiency in energy usage, and curtailing deforestation and other land-use practices that emit toxic gasses.
To better equip vulnerable populations against the adverse effects of global warming, we must also guide them in preparing for extreme weather events and rising ocean levels.
We must advocate for robust climate control laws, both on national and international stages, that take into account the excessive strain placed on already disadvantaged communities. Additionally, and most importantly, we must prioritize and empower community-driven solutions designed to mitigate climate issues and their impacts.
Climate change is a daunting challenge that demands decisive action, especially on the part of affluent nations whose emissions far outstrip poorer countries most affected by its changing landscape.
According to the World Bank, climate change could thrust an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty in the next ten years without urgent steps in the right direction. Making good on a commitment to climate justice is not just a humanitarian question but a duty that needs to be undertaken to stand a chance of conquering these global goals.
4. Poverty Eradication Through Education
Eradicating poverty through education can be achieved by giving everyone, especially those living in poverty, quality learning opportunities. In addition, education provides people with the tools to develop their economic prospects and provide equal rights to alleviate poverty.
We can drastically reduce poverty by enacting several strategies, such as expanding access to primary and secondary education, enrolling and retaining disadvantaged groups; investing in teacher training, resources, and school facilities; enabling lifelong learning; and creating specific programs for at-risk populations like women and girls.
Education is a potent force that can break the shackles of poverty and level the playing field. By opening access to quality learning opportunities to all, particularly those living in poverty, we can unearth their boundless potential, allowing them to pursue greater economic prospects. By equipping teachers with proper training and resources, creating pathways for lifelong learners, and targeting interventions to disadvantaged populations, we can lift up entire communities and usher in a brighter future for everyone.
UNESCO's research reveals a powerful truth: the power of education to help break the cycle of poverty. With essential reading and writing skills, an estimated 171 million people in low-income countries could lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
Furthermore, if everyone completed secondary education, global poverty could be halved. This is because education bestows the capacity to develop skills and corrects existing disparities due to being marginalized. It also lessens risk and reduces vulnerability. In short, attaining quality education can provide a way out of poverty and be a good indicator of progress in alleviating poverty.
5. Halting Poverty by Ending Hunger
Unraveling the issue of hunger is a complex endeavor that necessitates a multifaceted solution. However, several successful initiatives have been known to diminish poverty and hunger, such as:
Increasing access to inexpensive and nutritious food: Community gardens, food banks, and other neighborhood-based activities can assist in achieving this target.
Supplying economic assistance to those living in poverty: Cash transfers, microfinance, and employment coaching programs can provide adequate support.
Enhancing agricultural practices and food systems: By improving infrastructure, granting access to technology and natural resources, and assisting small-scale farmers, empowering local governments, progress can certainly be made in this area.
Focusing on education and health: For individuals and communities striving to leave behind the hardships of poverty, educational attainment, and improved health are essential.
Promoting gender equality: Women and girls frequently bear a disproportionate burden regarding poverty and hunger; thus, achieving equality between genders can undoubtedly reduce both.
Consuming adequate meals and nourishment can be a powerful source to uproot poverty. Without enough food, individuals are often deprived of the vigor and fortitude essential for productivity.
Even further, unsanitary drinking water can result in grave sicknesses. Malcolm Gladwell could accurately articulate it thusly: "When you lack basic sustenance, it inhibits your capacity to labor and complicates your access to required nutrients, resulting in debilitating physical ailments."
What Is the Goal of End Poverty?
Tackling poverty is a cause worth fighting for. With the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 1 set to "eradicate poverty in all its forms everywhere" by 2030 and the World Bank striving to reduce extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day) below 3% of the global population, we can no longer delay action.
We need everyone to work towards providing access to essential elements for survival and prosperity – food, shelter, education, healthcare, and economic opportunity – so that everyone can lead a healthy, dignified, and purposeful life. Let us collectively agree it's time to end poverty now.
How Can Sustainable Millennium Development Goals Help Reduce Poverty?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious collective effort to defeat poverty, protect our planet, and ensure everyone enjoys a safe, healthy, and prosperous life. By unfolding these key objectives, countries have the potential to confront the very foundations of poverty and plant the seeds for a brighter future.
Goal 1: No Poverty - This ambition involves developing economic opportunity, social protection, and access to all people's essential services to abolish extreme poverty and minimize inequality.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger - A key component to fighting hunger is providing affordable and nutritious food and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being - Access to quality healthcare and opportunities to lead healthy lives is crucial for everyone.
Goal 4: Quality Education - Everyone deserves inclusive and equitable education and training opportunities.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth - To promote long-term economic development and ensure available employment and decent work, we must prioritize sustained and inclusive economic growth.
In practical terms, the SDGs are designed so that nations can achieve sustainable development by engaging in their implementation, reducing poverty, and creating a better future for all.
Why Do We Need to Reduce Poverty?
It is clear that the reduction of poverty is essential to achieving both individual and collective prosperity. People living in poverty often lack access to necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare, education, and other economic resources needed to succeed.
Poverty also stifles economic growth by hindering investment opportunities and slowing development in countries ravaged. What's more, poverty disproportionately affects marginalized people, including women, children, and minorities, who often face even more significant obstacles when attempting to escape its grasp.
Rampant poverty can lead to social unrest and conflict, causing damaging effects for individuals, communities, and nations. As a result, diminishing poverty is critical to elevating citizens' quality of life and creating long-term global stability.
To Sum it Up
In the end, poverty is an intricate problem that mandates an integrated strategy. Measures including enhancing access to low-cost, nutritious food, offering financial aid to individuals living in destitution, optimizing agriculture and food processes, spending on education and health care, and advocating gender equality, have proven successful in diminishing poverty.
The Sustainable Development Goals specify a plan of action for countries to strive towards reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. Undeniably, alleviating poverty is essential for upgrading people's quality of life and opportunities and boosting economic growth and equilibrium.