What is poverty?
Poverty is more than not having enough money. Being impoverished means the lack of basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Victims of poverty are unable to provide education to children or afford medications for illness. People who are in poverty are barely able to pay for food, much less spending on other expenses.
World hunger and poverty
The primary cause of hunger in the world is poverty, and it is considered the most critical manifestation of poverty. While the world produces enough food for everyone, millions do not have the income to purchase nutritious food. When there is no access to food, people become vulnerable to malnutrition and their immune system collapses.
The most visible victims of hunger are children. 66 million primary school-age children across the developing world go to school hungry, with 23 million in Africa alone.
Effects of Poverty on Education
In addition to hunger, poverty limits the ability of a community to develop. Besides school fees, a family may not be able to afford the expenses such as uniforms, books, and transportation. Over 30 percent of rural girls living in poverty do not attend school to save money.
The lack of general education causes higher birth rates among adolescents, which burdens an already economically strained community, perpetuating the cycle of gender inequality, hunger, and poverty.
Poverty equals poor health
When you are impoverished, you can’t afford to get sick. However, when you are living in poor conditions and no access to safe water and food, sickness and diseases are inevitable. People who live in poverty also struggle with social exclusion, which affects their mental health negatively.
With their physical and mental health at risk, victims of poverty often have a shorter lifespan than the people in wealthier communities.
The path out of poverty
It is said that we can eradicate poverty by 2030 if we maintained the rate of progress we've had since 2000. The world as a whole is now rich enough to eliminate it if we chose.
We can reduce poverty in the world by taking these steps:
- Improve the management of water and natural resources
It is necessary as rural communities depend on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihood.
- Increase and improve access to jobs
When people generate income from working, they can get themselves out of poverty more easily.
- Provide quality education to children
All children should be given knowledge and realize their full potential.
- Ensure everyone has access to healthcare
People fall into poverty by spending money on health problems. Universal health insurance could decrease the burden and relieve poverty.
- Develop sustained economic growth policies and programs
Allowing the poor getting involved with these programs increases the country's average income, which reduces poverty as well.
- Engage in trade with countries facing severe poverty
Indonesia, Brazil, and Botswana are some of the countries that have traded their way out of poverty.
- Support gender equality
Women are a fundamental driving force against poverty when they get equal access to education and participate in economic and business decision-making. Better gender equality translates to better prospects and greater well-being of children.
- Raise the minimum wage
Increasing the minimum wages could potentially improve the health and well-being of millions, keeping them away from poverty.
- Empower people living in poverty
Getting people in poverty involved in development plans gives them purpose in protecting the things that are important to them.
- Support national efforts with international aid
Many international non-profit organisations are working hard to provide the basics where the domestic government cannot.
AusRelief is a not for profit charity that is committed to aiding the vulnerable and underprivileged.
We have projects for our Muslim friends to direct their charitable contributions to this Ramadan. We are distributing it to the needy, including the ones in poverty by collecting your Zakat. Even if you are non-Muslim, you too can support our cause.
Donate and support our 'Zakatable' projects here. 100% of your donation goes to charity and is tax-deductible.