Wednesday, October 15, 2008

LEAP: Lets Eradicate Any-form of Poverty

This Article can also be found at Work and Economics (Poverty) Issue Section, as a part of Understanding Issues Project of TakingITGlobal

Every human being needs a range of basic necessities, such as food, water, clothing, shelter, education, and health care, for his or her daily life. The economic condition of lacking these essential goods and services to meet basic needs of life is called poverty.

While poverty exists everywhere, it is most severe in developing countries, where more than one person in five lives on less than $1 a day – the threshold, which is being used by the World Bank to define extreme poverty. In 2001, over 1 billion people lived in extreme poverty and nearly half the world’s population (2.8 million) lived on less than $2 a day.

In developed countries, poverty results in wandering homeless people and poor suburbs and ghettos. In these cases we talk about relative poverty (in contrast to absolute poverty), which is measured by comparing one group’s situation to the situations of those who are more advantaged.

The causes of poverty vary: lack of education, war, natural disasters, political corruption, mental illness, and disability are among the most common causes.

Eliminating poverty in developing countries is the goal of international development initiatives and the many international organizations working in the field. Strategies on how to eradicate poverty are, however, as numerous as the causes of poverty itself. The World Bank’s anti-poverty strategy, for example, depends heavily on reducing poverty though the promotion of economic growth.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are part of the Millennium Declaration, signed by the member states of the United Nations at the Millennium Summit in 2000, regard the elimination of extreme poverty as a much more complex task. Empowering women, combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases and ensuring sustainable development are among the goals and are all seen as necessary if extreme poverty is to be alleviated.