This year we are highlighting one or two of the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) every month. The SDGs are a call to action for all countries and all people, to create a prosperous world whilst protecting the planet. Goal number 1 is End Poverty. The goals recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
What is Poverty?
Poverty is not just a lack of income. Poverty is about hunger, lack of shelter, poor or lack of political inclusion, lack of health care and not having enough money to meet basic needs. Pre-pandemic we were moving in the right direction, however since then we have sadly seen an increase in extreme poverty for the first time in a generation. Hunger levels have hit those of 2005 which has been compounded by persistent increases in the price of food. Poverty is a complex problem with many causes such as unemployment, social exclusion, and high vulnerability to disasters, diseases and other phenomena which can cause low crop yields and higher potential for loss of security.
How do we end poverty?
The United Nations have set out seven targets aimed at creating action to end poverty in all its forms.
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty
Extreme poverty is defined as having less than $2.15 per person per day. If current patterns persist approximately 7% of the population will still be in extreme poverty in 2030. That’s around 575 million people, with a significant proportion of those people in sub-Saharan Africa.
2. Reduce Poverty by at least 50%
Reduce the number of men, women and children living in poverty by half, by 2030.
3. Implement Social Protection Systems
Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all by 2030.
4. Equal Rights to Ownership, Basic Services, Technology and Economic Resources
Ensure that all people, have equal rights to economic resources, and access to basic services.
5. Build Resilience to Environmental, Economic and Social Disasters
Build resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations. Reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events.
6. Mobilise Resources to Implement Policies to End Poverty
Identify and use resources from a variety of sources; including knowledge, funding and enhanced cooperation, to provide means for developing countries.
7. Create Pro-Poor and Gender-Sensitive Policy Frameworks
Create policy frameworks at national, regionals and international levels, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.
Why should I care about Ending Poverty?
We could say that you should care simply because we are all human. This is true but if you need more reasons, here are some:
Higher poverty rates are linked with increased in conflict
Growing inequality is linked to economic decline and instability
Poverty and social inequality can lead to political and social tensions
Our wellbeing is linked worldwide, whether it’s the global economy, warzones or simply the feeling of anxiety when we’re exposed to the inequality and conflicts we can see on the news.
What can I do to help End Poverty?
Use your voice – through policymaking and voting
Share your knowledge. Keep the communication flowing, inform others of the challenges we face globally (and locally) and how that can affect them and how they can help
Get educated – attend courses which can tell you more about the SDGs and learn more about your power to help
Donate to charities which are involved in work towards eradicating poverty and enabling local communities. Financial, material and product donations are all welcome and useful.
Encourage your employer to set up projects or support ones already in existence