Thursday, June 6, 2019

Is Poverty Forever?

Until now, the world has achieved remarkable results in solving poverty. The poorest people living below $1.9 per day in 1999 accounted for 36% of the world's population. It dropped to 16% in 2010, 10% in 2015, and to 9% in 2016 and predicted to fall to 3% in 2030. Since 1990, about 1.1 billion people have moved out of poverty. Especially in East Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and Central Asia, the number of the poorest has already fallen below 3%. But is the problem so simple? So asks a professional in development finances in the Catholic Peace Weekly.

When we include education, infrastructure, health and security we increase poverty by 1.5 times. Many are the difficulties in reducing the percentage of poorest people from 9% to 3%. Many of the countries suffer from disputes, civil wars, and disasters. Consequently, in no position to do business with a development bank or other organization. And yet we can't neglect 6% of the world's population

Currently, more than half of the poorest are in sub-Saharan Africa. Development in this area is slow and the number of the poor is increasing as the population grows. According to this trend, nine out of the ten world's poorest people in 2030 will be in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these are young people under the age of 18, and most likely will not receive a proper education.

Poverty is not a problem for developing countries alone. Looking over the last 30 years the inequality in the OECD countries presently is the most severe. The top 10 percent hold half of the total wealth and the bottom 40% share is only 3%. The real income of the top 10% is 9.5 times that of the bottom 10%, compared to the 7 times in the 1980s. In these countries, children in the lower 10% of households are expected to take 150 years to earn an average income.

The situation, however, is not hopeless. It's not impossible to solve poverty in this world within a generation. First, while developing new business models through cutting-edge technological innovation, financial instruments that have not yet been tried in the developing world market should be used to improve the lives of the world's poorest 40%.  In addition, development agencies need new approaches, different from the past. In particular, it is necessary to invest heavily in human beings. Between 2000 and 2011, 24% of developing economies grew in health status. Investments that include health and education become critical issues in the digital age.

The writer mentions that many still confuse the Millennium Development Goal—8 goals, with the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015 for the year 2030. SDG has 17 goals. It's a political declaration that the world governments want to achieve by 2030. Government policies have international significance: companies, private organizations, and individuals can participate directly in global development and see great change.

Pope St. Paul VI in his 1967 Encyclical Populorum Progressio concluded that the new name for peace was development. The writer hopes that the years ahead with technical and financial support for the poorest people in place she hopes that what St. Paul VI found in Africa and South America before becoming pope will have changed.

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