Acting Together to Achieve Social and Environmental Justice for All
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of povertyMother Teresa
We are living in a world characterised by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means, and financial resources. More than millions of people live in extreme poverty and is an insult to human capability. Poverty has different dimensions, lack of income and the essential abilities to live in dignity. People living in poverty experience, dangerous work conditions, lack of access to justice and health care. This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the UN declaration of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year also marks the 32nd Anniversary of the “Call to Action” by Father Joseph Wresinski. It was in 1987 at Paris, 100,000 people gathered on the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza to at the unveiling of a commemorative stone. The world is into the third year of third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018–2027).
Poverty is the worst form of violenceMahatma Gandhi
Almost 8% of the world population lives in poverty, most of them belong to Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions. People living in small, fragile, and conflict-affected countries are more vulnerable to be pushed to live in poverty. Children, women and people living in rural areas are more affected due to poverty. Statistics says that 122 women aged 25 to 34 living in poverty for every 100 men of the same age group. Rural people are affected three times higher than in urban areas.
While progress has been made in enhancing the earning capability, there has been less progress in addressing the other dimensions of poverty and the impact of the environment. Lack of participation in decision-making is another dimension of poverty. The knowledge, contributions and experience of people living in poverty must be taken into consideration in the efforts to build an equitable and sustainable world.
Poverty is not just a lack of money; It is not having the capability to realise one’s full potential as a human being.Amartya Sen
Ending poverty in all its forms is the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It says, ensuring significant mobilisation of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation. And provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres says “We need a new generation of social protection programmes that also cover people working in the informal economy. Joining in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic. On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us stand in solidarity with people living in poverty, throughout the COVID-19 epidemic and beyond.
While global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000, the pace of change is decelerating, and the COVID-19 crisis risks reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty. The economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8% of the total human population. According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “One of the keys to ending child poverty is addressing poverty in the household, from which it often stems. Access to quality social services must be a priority.”
Participation of people living below the poverty line in the decisions that affect their lives is essential to build a sustainable future. The communities world over should work to fulfil the needs and aspirations of everyone to make this world a better place to live.
When there is so much wealth in the world, poverty is a crime against humanitySadhguru