Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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The fight against poverty must leave no one behind

Photo Flickr Peter Werkman 2.0 Generic CC BY 2.0

17 October 2014 – Poverty levels in the world have declined significantly in the last two decades as at least 700 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2010. Good news is that the world has reached the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty.

Bad news is that despite remarkable progress, more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide and live on less than $1.25 a day. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, marked on 17 October, highlights the fact that many of those who have escaped poverty, as defined by Millennium Development Goal 1a, are still poor when poverty is measured according to its many non-income dimensions. Progress in this area has also been extremely uneven: the benefits of economic growth are not spread out equally between all the members of society.

In addition to income poverty, different measures and indices are being developed for measuring the multiple dimensions of poverty. These dimensions may include factors such as gender equality, well-being and social cohesion. Improving income and material conditions is simply not enough to improve people’s overall quality of life.

Fighting poverty remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the preparations for the post-2015 development agenda. In his message for the international day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes that elimination of poverty in all its forms must remain a priority when preparing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

But poverty does not affect only developing countries - 24% of all the EU population (over 120 million people), are at risk of poverty or social exclusion – this includes 28% of all children in Europe, 19.3% of those over 65 - and 9.9 % of the population in the EU are severely materially deprived.

The theme for the International Day this year spreads a truly global message: “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty”, be it in Asia, Europe, Africa or Latin America.

“Member States and all partners must act decisively together to eradicate poverty and build a sustainable, peaceful, prosperous and equitable future for all”, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message. “Our aim must be prosperity for all, not just a few”.

On October 17th, stand together with people in poverty and take action to #EndPoverty!

UNRIC's related links: 
UNRIC’s backgrounder on poverty 
Article: "Sustainable development only way to make poverty history
Article: "Migrant deaths multiply"

World Bank Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015

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