International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
This year theme – ” Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty ”
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries – a need that has become a development priority. The current year’s theme of International Day for Eradication of Poverty is “Ending the violence of extreme poverty- Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace”.
The spirit and lives of people are destroyed by extreme poverty. Lack of food, shelter and essential services are the challenges faced by people living in extreme poverty. Poverty kills more children and young people than any war. This also perpetuates a cycle of violence and discrimination of human rights of women and children.
Eradicating Extreme poverty and hunger, is first among the millennium development goals that were established during Millennium Summit of the United States in 2000. At the Millennium Summit, world leaders committed themselves to cutting by half by the year 2015 the number of people living in extreme poverty – people whose income is less than one dollar a day.
The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. 700 million fewer people now live in condition of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty. It was also seen that there was a reduction of 294 million since 2001. Now there are only 384 million workers lived below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011. Still the point of concern is 870 million people are established to be undernourished and 100 million children are also undernourished and underweight.
Millions have overcome through poverty and accessed to better health and education over the last few years. Rate of absolute poverty has been decreased in almost every part of the world. Over 39 million more children attend primary level of education as compared to 1990. More than 89% of people have access to clean water.
Yet, today, we have so many lives still left to be changed. The valuable contribution of the people who are living in extreme poverty are often being ignored or seen as negative by us. This is discrimination and denial of the dignity that they deserve as well as their human rights. Above all the major advances that have done well to society, this one thing the society urgently needs to stand for. The society needs to break its silence on the issues related to extreme poverty. We should show our solidarity with the people living in poverty and be committed towards eradication of poverty from their lives.
This day is an opportunity to acknowledge the struggle of the people who are living in poverty, to listen to the concerns of them. It is a day to recognize that it’s the poor who are the first ones to fight against poverty. The participation and the expertise of people living in poverty to contribute to the eradication of poverty is essential.