Imagine a world without poverty. Sounds good! But are you sure what you envisage really corresponds to an actual world without poverty? You need to know that ‘ poverty’ means not having access to the basic resources necessary for the physical and psychological well being of a person. Sadly, by the end of 2020 and as an added consequence of the pandemic, the World Bank estimates that between 40 and 60 million people around the world are in the situation of extreme poverty. This accounts for 9% of the population.
On 22nd December 1992, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 17th October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The observance of this day can be traced back to 17th October 1987, when over a hundred thousand people gathered in the Trocadéro in Paris (the same place where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948), to proclaim that poverty is a violation of human rights and to affirm the need to unite to ensure these rights are respected.
Because this problem persists, in 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with a major objective, ‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere.’ It is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind.
We need to act to achieve this ideal world. Though many actions are being carried out worldwide, not all are effective. For this reason the World Bank has put forward 6 measures:
- Investment in quality childcare and early education
- Universal health coverage
- Universal access to quality education
- Monetary transfers for poor families
- Access to basic services (sanitation, water, electricity, roads)
- Progressive taxation
Nonetheless, any measures taken by governments and non-governmental agencies are insufficient if we as ordinary citizens do not take action to overcome this scourge. Though we may feel powerless when faced with these odds, we can contribute our little grain of sand.
Here are a few suggestions:
- The 1% rule: donate 1% of your income to a humanitarian organization; if everyone did this, in less than 20 years there would be no poverty in the world.
- Enterprise : without doubt the bane that is Covid -19, quite apart from taking many lives has aggravated social problems, namely unemployment and poverty. To be enterprising is one of the tools that will help to boost the economy and improve the social problems. Starting a business that has a positive social and environmental impact, will promote sustainability, provide work opportunities, and reactivate the economy.
Thoughts from SGS 10th Grade Students