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International Day for The Eradication of Poverty

The eradication of poverty. What does it mean? Why should we care? And what can we do to help?

Every year, on the 17th of October, the United Nations encourages the world to remember the millions of people living in extreme poverty, and the millions that have died of poverty. It’s a day where people gather to show their commitment to helping the less fortunate and raise awareness of the lack of human rights given to those living in abject poverty.

How Many People Live In Poverty?

If you were to Google the population of people living in extreme poverty, you will most likely come across articles that will tell you how the rate of poverty has gone down in recent years, giving you a bit of hope that we are doing something right. Yet, 736 million people worldwide are still living in extreme poverty. To make matters worse, the World Bank predicts that a further 85 to 115 million people will be forced into poverty due to the spread of COVID 19 [1].

What Is Poverty?

Extreme poverty means living on less than £1.50 per day, that’s roughly £42 a month or the cost of our average weekly grocery shop. Imagine having to live on that little amount every day? How would you pay your bills? Or feed yourself and your family? That constant fear and worry is what leads to millions of people begging for a living, working illegally or in jobs that are far too dangerous, marrying their young girls off for their dowry, forcing their children to work instead of going to school, and migrating to find a better life. Women and children are the most vulnerable in underdeveloped countries, they are exploited, abused, and denied their rights because of their label: a ‘widow’, an ‘orphan’. Many cultures force widows to partake in cleansing rituals or leave their homes with absolutely nothing.

What Causes Poverty?

When people think of poverty, they think of the masses that reside in Africa, which has been known to have a high poverty rate. But why is that? Factors such as a lack of government support for the poor, the effects of corruption, a rapidly growing population and low employment rates[2], are only just a few reasons. In countries like Somalia and Palestine, that have experienced years of conflict, families have been forced to flee and seek refuge in neighbouring countries or IDP camps (Internally Displaced People), with no savings or prospects of finding work to help them survive. Let’s not forget the lack of access to resources like food and clean water, or even a school or a safe hospital for treatment. In many developing countries there is still the issue of inequality, be it gender or caste, certain groups or tribes, are all belittled and given no consideration.

Poverty is widespread, even in the United Kingdom, you will find many sleeping on the street or in homeless shelters. However, first world countries like the UK or the United States have adequate resources to support the neediest in their countries. They also have the support from the government and non-governmental organisations, which is why the 17th of October is aimed at developing countries, where eradicating poverty is the most challenging.

How Can We Reduce Poverty In the World?

Showing your support on this day encourages organisations across the world, and governments, to make the lives of those living in poverty better by making them a priority and giving them what they are entitled to. Orphans in Need are celebrating this day to raise awareness of the issues that we are all aware of but are hesitant to act on, hoping to encourage a change. Through sustainable solutions, we have been able to help thousands of families live a better quality of life. With the help of our supporters, we have done more than just provide families with food, water, education, and healthcare. We have changed how society perceives them, from being seen as burdens to becoming valuable human beings who need to be helped in order to better the rest of the world.

Poverty does not choose its victims; anyone can fall into the cycle at any time in their lives. But some of us may be more fortunate than others. Please help us raise awareness of this day and help eradicate poverty in our world.

Share this with your friends and on your social media. #EndPoverty

Did you know: In 1987, a commemorative stone was placed in Trocadero, Paris, to mark the 17th of October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. More than fifty replicas have been made across the world, including Hull and Glasgow in the UK.


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