How Can I Help End Poverty?

Wednesday, October 17 is the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Day. World poverty statistics are harrowing, so you might ask yourself, how can I help end poverty? But before we look at ways of eradicating world poverty, let’s look at the relevant statistics.

World Poverty Statistics

According to the World Bank, efforts to eradicate world poverty are having an impact. Whereas in 2013, eleven per cent of the world population lived in extreme poverty, this number fell to ten per cent in 2015. This means that the number of people living on $1.90 per day fell from 804 million to 736 million, worldwide. 

The rate of improvement slowed considerably. Between 1990 and 2015, extreme poverty rates dropped by approximately one percentage point each year, which means there was a 36 per cent decline in world poverty during that time. Since then, progress in this area has slowed. According to the World Bank, this decline is due to political instability and conflict. 

Sub-Saharan Africa has, in fact, seen an increase in extreme poverty. More than half of the worlds poor lived there in 2015. Unless significant changes come about, the World Bank excepts the extreme poverty rates in Sub-Saharan Africa to remain in double-digits right up until 2030.

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on $1.90 per day. It is important to point out that this definition is questionable. Furthermore, the World Bank also reports that in 2015, almost half of the world population lived on less than $5.50 per day.

Extreme Poverty, Image via Pixabay

What Are the Current Anti-Poverty Drives and How Can I Help End Poverty?

Eradicating world poverty requires a multi-faceted approach. The World Bank has identified the following areas. If you’re asking, how can I help end poverty, these issues are key:

  • Tackling climate change
  • Empowering local governments and local communities to tackle poverty
  • Managing and providing aid to disaster areas
  • Increasing education rates is seen as a key factor in the eradication of poverty. According to UNESCO, 264 million children had no access to education in October 2017.
  • Providing electricity to the 1.3 billion people living without power
  • Fighting hunger and malnutrition
  • Giving access to finance to the world’s poor
  • Providing access to clean water and sanitation
  • Promoting communities and holding governments accountable

The UN along with not-for-profit organisations worldwide have been working in all the above areas. You can imagine that a wide variety of skills are necessary to tackle them. This means people of many different professions are needed. Joining an aid organisation or government agency is one way of helping to eradicate poverty.

How Can I Help End Poverty?

If you want to join the fight against poverty, you can do so in your local area or abroad. Here are some ways to help end poverty:

  • Make Your Skills Available to an Aid Agency: Regardless of your profession, your skills will allow you to help end poverty. Aid agencies require people of all job types.
  • Join a Political Party or Group: Find like-minded people who are already working to end poverty.
  • Become a Lobbyist: Lobby local politicians and businesses to raise awareness and seek support.
  • Start a Campaign: Set up a campaign to end poverty in your area. Raise relevant issues, contact media outlets, and use social media platforms.
  • Become a Fundraiser: Raise funds for an anti-poverty organisation.
  • Volunteer: Not-for-profit organisations are always looking for volunteers, locally and internationally.
  • Start a Business and Create Jobs: Providing someone with employment is a sure way to contribute to the fight against poverty. 

Why Lobbying, Politicians and Businesses Is Crucial

Think about it. As an individual, you have little influence. Joining a group or organisation is more effective. But why is lobbying politicians and businesses so important? The reasons are obvious. Politicians can bring about legislative change to help eradicate poverty. Try to influence government budgetary decisions and fight for fair wages among businesses. Here are some areas where lobbying is essential: 

  • Fight to provide housing to homeless people
  • Fight to provide affordable healthcare
  • Fight to enshrine a decent minimum wage in legislation
  • Fight for access to (higher) education for the poor in your area
  • Fight for access to training and employment

Social Diversity is Key in the Fight Against Poverty in the Developed World

Poverty exists everywhere, even in the developed world. If you live in what is considered an affluent society, you’ll also find people struggling to make ends meet. 

Poverty has a significant impact on self-esteem. One way to fight the poverty stigma is to build diverse communities. 

Tackling the Shame of Poverty

Sadly, poverty causes a sense of shame. By reaching out whatever way you choose, you can help fight the poverty stigma.

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