NO POVERTY: WHY IT MATTERS
What’s the goal here?
To end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030. More than 700 million people, or 10% of the world population, still live in extreme poverty and is struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. The majority of people living on less than $1.90 a day live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2 per cent—more than three times higher than in urban areas.
Having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018.
Poverty affects children disproportionately. One out of five children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and other vulnerable groups is critical to reduce poverty.
Why is there so much poverty in the world?
Poverty has many dimensions, but its causes include unemployment, social exclusion, and high vulnerability of certain populations to disasters, diseases and other phenomena which prevent them from being productive.
I’m not poor. Why should I care about other people’s economic situation?
There are many reasons, but in short, because as human beings, our well- being is linked to each other. Growing inequality is detrimental to economic growth and undermines social cohesion, increas- ing political and social tensions and, in some circumstances, driving instability and conflicts.
Can we actually achieve this goal?
Yes. To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, economist Jeffrey Sachs calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world.
So what can I do about it?
Your active engagement in policymaking can make a difference in addressing poverty. It ensures that your rights are promoted and that your voice is heard, that inter-generational knowledge is shared, and that innovation and critical thinking are encouraged at all ages to support transformational change in people’s lives and communities.
Governments can help create an enabling environment to generate productive employment and job opportunities for the poor and the marginalized. They can formulate strategies and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth, and reduce poverty.
The private sector, as an engine of economic growth, has a major role to play in determining whether the growth it creates is inclusive and hence contributes to poverty reduction. It can promote economic opportunities for the poor, focusing on segments of the economy
where most of the poor are active, namely on micro and small enterprises and those operating in the informal sector.
The academic and education community have a major role in increasing the awareness about the impact of poverty. Science provides the foundation for new and sustainable approaches, solutions and technologies to tackle the challenges of reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development. The contribution of science to end poverty has been significant.
For example, it has enabled access to safe drinking water, reduced deaths caused by water-borne diseases, and improved hygiene to reduce health risks related to unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation.
To find out more about Goal #1 and other Sustainable Development Goals visit: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment