Written by Keshala Dias
17 Oct, 2016 | 7:59 pm
Today October 17th, marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
It is widely held today that one cannot consider only the economic part of poverty. Poverty is also social, political and cultural. Moreover, it is considered to undermine human rights – economic (the right to work and have an adequate income), social (access to health care and education), political (freedom of thought, expression and association) and cultural (the right to maintain one’s cultural identity and be involved in a community’s cultural life).
Their is no specific definition for poverty. However a basic definition would be – it is a condition where people’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter are not met.
Poverty can be broken into two kinds “Absolute Poverty” and “Relative Poverty”.
Absolute poverty measures the number of people living below a certain income threshold or the number of households unable to afford certain basic goods and services. Relative poverty measures the extent to which a household’s financial resources falls below an average income threshold for the economy.
Nearly half of the world’s population, which is more than three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day.
More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. One billion children worldwide are living in poverty.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
Africa is the region most affected by poverty in the world. Countries such as Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo live in extreme poverty.
In Sri Lanka, 6.7% of the population lives below the national poverty line.’Poverty line’ is the estimated minimum level of income needed to secure the necessities of life. Sri Lanka is an exceptional country in the South Asia region as it life expectancy, literacy rate and social indicators nearly par with those of developed countries.
However, Sri Lanka has been ranked in the medium category of the Human Development Index, therefore poverty remains a serious issue for Sri Lanka.
2017 has been named as the “Poverty Eradication Year” for Sri Lanka.
This targets the world’s leaders set at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 – are an agenda for reducing poverty, its causes and manifestations. As part of the goal of eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seeks to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than 1 $US a day.
Not only organisations and governments need to take steps to eradicate or reduce poverty, it can be started from us by contributing more to the economy which will make it a better place for the poor.
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