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Poverty eradication is the number one Sustainable Development Goal. The target is to end all forms of poverty by 2030.
Why eradicate poverty?
An estimated 700 million people live in extreme poverty.These people struggle to meet the most basic needs such as food, education, health, access to water and sanitation, and others. This is really a large number of people.
The majority of these poor people living on less than $1.90 a day are found in sub-Saharan African and Southern Asia. These bulk of people comprise 70% of the poorest people. In addition to that, lower middle-income nations that include Nigeria, Indonesia, and China, are where 50% of the world’s poor live in. Poverty does not only affect these countries. Developed countries also face this issue. Currently, 30 million children are growing up poor in the world’s richest nations.
Why is poverty broad in scope?
Poverty has many faces. It is a result of numerous driving factors that include unemployment, high vulnerability of certain population to disasters, social exclusion, diseases and other phenomena that prevent people from being productive.
Why should everyone be concerned with this issue?
There are many reasons why everyone should be concerned with the issue on poverty eradication. In simple terms, the well-being of human beings are connected to each other. The increasing inequality is crucial to economic growth and lessens social cohesion. This increases tensions politically and creates social unrest that further drives people to conflicts and instability.
Is this dream possible to achieve?
Jeffrey Sachs, an economist, declares that extreme poverty can be eradicated globally in 20 years. He calculated that it takes around $175 billion total cost per annum to do this. This is amount is less than one percent of the combined income of the world’s richest countries.
What can be done?
A bulk of the rural poor is smallholder farmers. These people are responsible for most food production globally. Improving farm productivity through better access to technologies, resources, organizations, and markets are significant for both food security and poverty eradication.
Sustainability in terms of ecology and resources is needed in poverty reduction. Food production practices must be sustainable as the reverse of it would result to land degradation, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions. Smallholder farmers need to acquire technology and infrastructure to transform food systems sustainably.
Employment in non-agricultural activities must be diversified as this is significant to accelerate the reduction of rural and urban poverty. Agricultural growth drives the growth of non-farm activities as it also stimulates the creation of local jobs.
Empowering women by providing equal access to education and productive resources can increase the purchasing power of women, especially in rural and agricultural areas.
The dream of poverty eradication by 2030 is a goal that everyone desires to happen. There are many hindrances and obstacles that can hinder this dream. With everyone working hand-in hand, this dream can be turned into a reality.