WHY FIGHTING POVERTY IS A WAR THAT MUST BE WON

Monday October 18 2021
By The Citizen Reporter

Yesterday was International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) – so proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) via its Resolution Number47/196 adopted on December 22, 1992.

In the event, the UN urged all its member states “to devote the Day (IDEP) to presenting and promoting – as is appropriate in the national context – concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution” across the world.

Generally speaking, “poverty” is defined as the state of a human being or a community that lacks the usual or socially-acceptable financial resources and other material possessions. More often than not, this state of affairs is caused by – and can itself also have – diverse social, economic and political effects on individuals and communities at large.

IDEP was designed and intended “to provide an opportunity for everyone to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty; a chance for the poor and destitute to make their concerns heard; and for the world to recognize that poor people are – or should be – at the forefront in the fight against poverty.”

The foregoing is in accordance with the Report reference number A/61/308 of the United Nations Secretary General.

To that very noble end, the United Nations launched the “International Committee for October 17” in 2008 to promote IDEP in the letter and in the spirit – doing so by invariably using inputs from people who have had real experience of poverty one way or another.

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The committee uses IDEP to promote dialogue and understanding between people living in poverty and their communities, as well as society at large – thus providing an opportunity to acknowledge and bolster the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty.


Climate change

But, recent studies have established the fact that, to a large extent, poverty is also caused or worsened by climate change; global maladies like the still-raging new coronavirus pandemic codenamed Covid-19 which first erupted in December 2019, and “the consequence of systematic violations of human rights.”

As it is, the World Bank estimates that “between 88-and-115 million people are being pushed into poverty worldwide each succeeding year as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – with the majority of the ‘new extreme poor’ found in South Asian and sub-Saharan countries where poverty rates were already high,” anyway…

But, even before that, the UN had come up with its Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs 2030) which, almost in their entirety, play a significant role in promoting global poverty reduction.

Also, in its declaration titled ‘The Future We Want,’ the June 2012 UN Rio+20 Summit pointed out that “eradication of poverty is the largest global challenge facing the world – and is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”

Well, the theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty this year is “Building forward together: ending persistent poverty; respecting all people and our planet” – with the stated focus being on “the most affected by the impact of the global pandemic and climate change.”

In our view, fighting to eradicate extreme poverty is the war humanity must win. And, it only needs doubling and redoubling our efforts to do so.