The 27th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty… Maat: 10% of the World’s Population Still Lives in Extreme Poverty
Okeil: UN concerted efforts are required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, expressing their misery over extreme poverty. There, Joseph Wresinski presented his portrait to honor the victims of extreme poverty. In 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Maat stresses that, although 27 years after the United Nations officially declared the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which has become a top priority for the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), there are still 1.3 billion people, across 101 countries, suffering from Multidimensional poverty, including 663 million children, according to the 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The 2030 Agenda aims to reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty to 2.5% in 2030; however, 10% of the world’s population still lives in extreme poverty.
Statistics indicate that the world’s most vulnerable countries to poverty are located in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa because they are the most conflict-affected areas. For instance, Yemen is one of five countries in Asia suffering from hunger due to wars and conflicts. As a result of Houthi attacks, acts of violence and sabotage that lead to cuts in supplies, more than 80% of the Yemeni population lives below the poverty line. Yemen is projected to become the world’s poorest country by 2022 if the conflict, erupted five years ago, continues
As for Africa, South Sudan ranks first in poverty in the continent with 91.9% of poverty. Somalia is ranked seventh due to the prevalence of armed conflict and the emplacement of terrorist groups, particularly al-Shabaab, in addition to external interventions, especially the underground Qatari interventions.
Despite international efforts to reduce poverty, ratios are still increasing due to the spread of conflict in many African and Asian countries and the failure of UN efforts to achieve acceptable success in implementing Goal 1 of the SDGs at least. Eradicating extreme poverty requires a great deal of achievement in other related Goals such as the eradication of hunger and access to high levels of health and education. As well as Goal 16 on promoting peace, especially in countries of conflict.
Therefore, Maat recommends that all UN efforts should be combined to reduce extreme poverty; working towards concrete progress in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and reducing the number of civilian victims of famine, especially in conflict zones in Africa and Asia.
Of note is Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights is currently the North African Coordinator of the NGO Major Group and a member of the General Assembly of the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council.
This post is also available in: العربية