Will we reach 'no poverty'?

The 2nd of the Global Goals is boldly stated as ‘ No Poverty’. You may be thinking the same way I was thinking when I first saw this Global Goal. To what extent is No Poverty? Is this achievable by 2030? This is the main reason why I am choosing to investigate and find out if ‘No Poverty’ is really an attainable and measurable goal.

Is this even ever achievable?

I first researched about the eradication of poverty. The Day provided me with a helpful and legitimate article which showed that even though poverty has been halved (since the 1990’s), it is still a major problem as 800 million people still suffer from extreme poverty this present day. The article shows how the problem is still incredibly severe and the UN were right to make such a bold Global Goal; the re-location of the extreme poor, the 41% in sub-saharan Africa who still live in extreme poverty. ‘No Poverty’ will definitely be hard to achieve by 2030, however is possible.

There was contrast though to the argument about even poverty as Lord Sugar said in the Telegraph article when he exclaims that there is no such thing as poverty in the 21st century. After reading his argument I could see that there was validity being portrayed by the highly regarded figure as 60 years ago poverty was an incredibly huge problem compared to now where it has nearly been fully eradicated.

On the Issues Online website I found an article called Poverty Eradication. It talked about Rio 1992 and the conference that took place that year about poverty and the problems at the time. Since then, the world has witnessed a dramatic decrease of people and communities living in poverty however an increase in people living in absolute poverty - particularly in LEDC’s (Less Economically Developed Countries). As a result it does still prove that extreme poverty is very present in the 21st century (contradicting Lord Sugar’s argument to an extent).

Similarly, weforum.org has an article stating ‘How can we eradicate poverty by 2030?’. In the website it has a very interesting graph depicting the number of people living in extreme poverty (from 1918-2011). It shows how there was still one billion people (halved from two billion in 1981) living in extreme poverty - less than $1.25 per day - in 2011. The article highlights that a) we are a long way from eradicating poverty and b) our world is busy making our ‘No Poverty’ goal harder: climate change and global economic inequality - which inevitably undermine the “fight against poverty”.

If we are to complete this goal by 2030 and fully eradicate poverty, it will be an amazing achievement, especially under the circumstances now. With all the problems with our earth and the people it only makes the problem less attainable. However, it is still achievable and if we try hard enough and follow the right footsteps and execute the solutions then this goal can definitely be completed.

Are there even any solutions?

Raising minimum wages:

A way to solve the world’s problem with poverty would be to higher the minimum wage. This would allow the young and old to gain as much money as they deserve for working 12 or so hours a day. The disadvantage of doing this would be that it could raise unemployment rates (at least slightly).

Access to clean water and sanitation:

Access to clean water and sanitation would enable people living in poverty to spend less time fetching water and more time working on agricultural production. The World Bank says that “Access to clean water and sanitation is one of the most cost-effective development interventions, and is critical for reducing poverty.” Also, it would lower the health costs for children who are not sanitised. May be expensive, but long term.

Creating jobs:

When people have jobs, people have some sort of income. As a result, then can more easily and quickly get themselves and their families out of extreme poverty / poverty. The United Nations quoted that “unemployment and underemployment lies at the core of poverty. For the poor, labor is often the only asset they can use to improve their well-being.” There is however a flipside. Working isn’t always the direct route out of poverty. According to a study, in 2009/10, 58 per cent of families below the UK poverty line contained at least one working member.

Education of women and girls:

Education impacts the women and girls’ societies, communities and economy. In addition, degree and age of beginning of education correlates to the age of marriage for women and the age of child birth; their health and diseases, their economic opportunities, social standing and present and future wellbeing - life. It can reduce poverty in developing countries.

The creation of transparency in government spending:

Transparency (meaning lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making) in government spending would help the reduction of governmental corruption. ‘ When governments are accountable to their citizens for their action, or inaction, in different areas of the federal budget, the citizens will be able to accurately assess how well their leaders are leading their country. Also, it allows citizens to see if money is being taken away from poverty-reduction plans and into the pockets of their leaders, which could be a cause of a stagnant economy or job market. ‘ (credits to the Borgen Magazine)

will we reach this goal by 2030?

Whilst we think that the United Nations has made a ridiculous claim with a world duty that many thought would be impossible to do over the next 50 years, let alone by 2030, the concept of ‘No Poverty’ does seem attainable. By attempting solutions (big and small) to make our world that much better and to accomplish the mental goals of not being able to tackle no poverty - what many see as climbing a 100 foot wall - than grasping this Global Goal and passing it with flying colours is possible. However, is ‘No Poverty’ possible? Well...Yes. Only if we benefit from all the help we can get; only if everyone - small or big, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, tolerant or intolerant - supports this cause in one way or another.


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