This year marks the 31st iteration of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Poverty manifests in various forms, adapting to different circumstances. It may signify hunger, inadequate housing, illness, or insufficient funds to meet essential requirements. Essentially, poverty denotes a state in which an individual lacks the financial means to satisfy their basic needs.
Alarming statistics reveal a recent upturn in the global poverty rate, marking the first increase in two decades, while endeavours to diminish extreme poverty have encountered numerous setbacks. Worldwide, nearly 44 million people currently grapple with impoverished conditions. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, a pertinent question emerges: Can the aspiration to eliminate poverty still be realised?
Annually commemorated on October 17, this day seeks to raise awareness about poverty and human rights violations stemming from individuals’ economic and cultural backgrounds.
Eradication of Poverty- The annual theme for this year
As per the United Nations, by the conclusion of 2022, approximately 8.4% of the world’s population, equating to a staggering 670 million individuals, were enduring extreme poverty. It is estimated that about 7% of the global populace, roughly 575 million people, may remain ensnared in extreme poverty by 2030.
The focal theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in 2023 is “Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting dignity in practice for all.”
The theme stresses on the imperative of ensuring that everyone has equal access to respectable employment and social safeguards, thereby preserving the dignity of all individuals.
Despite significant strides over several decades, which have raised over a billion individuals out of poverty, the advent of COVID-19 and a sequence of geopolitical disruptions has given rise to substantial reversals. Nevertheless, there remains an opportunity to regain momentum and conclude with success if we adjust our trajectory.
Poverty in all its forms
Poverty is not just lack of funds, but is a worldwide phenomena that is used to indicate lack of resources, poor health, living in grave conditions, no source of education and lack of political power. People stricken by this unfortunate and perilous state face marginalization, receiving subpar healthcare, and often laboring in hazardous and unsanitary environments.
Eliminating poverty in all its forms is the 1st goal of the Sustainable Development Goals.
A notable shift in perspectives in recent decades lies in our acknowledgment that poverty isn’t an inherent or unavoidable aspect of existence. Instead, it results from the failure to genuinely acknowledge and value the equal dignity of every human being, as well as their entitlement to equivalent opportunities. It emerges as a consequence of inequitable, prejudiced laws, policies, or institutions that exacerbate marginalisation.
During the SDG Summit in September, global leaders acknowledged the imperative of overhauling the international financial framework and pledged to a robust strategy aimed at revitalising the Sustainable Development Goals and expediting endeavors to eliminate poverty on a global scale.
This encompasses endorsing an SDG Stimulus package, amounting to a minimum of $500 billion annually, dedicated to funding investments aimed at accomplishing this goal.
The Significance of this day
In its 31st iteration, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty holds profound significance, particularly given the mounting global poverty levels. It functions not just as a commemoration of the underprivileged sectors of society but also as a forum for recognizing their enduring hardships.
The theme encourages political leaders and policymakers to place paramount importance on upholding human dignity within their deliberate actions. It calls for the promotion of fundamental human rights and societal equity ahead of corporate gains.
Robust international collaborations involving governments, corporations, and civil society entities stand as pivotal prerequisites for attaining fair and inclusive progress, ultimately eradicating poverty. This year’s commemoration fosters a sense of unity with individuals stricken with poverty while reiterating our dedication to developing an equitable economic landscape.
Throughout history, the most brilliant human intellects have consistently transcended the stagnant norms to effect genuine shifts in our self-perception and our global perspective.
The elimination of poverty presents itself as the paramount challenge of our era. Nonetheless, it’s a challenge we possess the capacity to triumph over.