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Extreme poverty still affects almost 10% of the world’s population

Poverty is, like all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), multi-faceted and is not, as many may think, just about being poor. SDG1 looks to end all forms of poverty, including extreme poverty that still affects almost 10% of the world’s population.

Poverty is not just about having no money

In reality, poverty remains one of the biggest barriers to survival and, although great progress had been made, we have a long way to go if we are to improve ‘life chances’ for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

When we consider poverty, we need to remember that poverty is not just about having no money, it is much more about the impact ‘having no money’ has, for poverty prevents people from accessing basic human needs, like food, safe drinking water, sanitation (toilets) health care, shelter, a home, education, and even access to information. In effect, “Poverty reduces the most vulnerable people in our societies with their ability to cope, respond and recover.” – Concern UK

Poverty will continue to affect the world’s most vulnerable

And like everything, poverty is measured using a defined international poverty line, currently $1.90 dollar, however, as we know the cost of living differs greatly, not just across countries but regions too, and that means we need to consider other factors, so that we can safeguard the most vulnerable in every society, even those, that live in some of the world’s wealthiest towns and cities, where access to basic needs are not met and their struggle for survival is just as real as, those who live in countries where poverty is measured using the accepted international poverty marker.

Today, almost half, or 46%, of the world’s population, live on less than $5.50 dollars a day! And, as the world’s climate grows evermore tempestuous, and instances of extremism, violence and persecution continue, the fragile nature of poverty will continue to affect the world’s most vulnerable.

And, as we come out of lockdown and return to ‘normality’, the number of those classified as living in poverty, will rise exponentially, highlighting the need for social change.

The 2020s herald the decade of change

It is time for global action and that is why we need the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, that bring a joined-up, multi-faceted approach to problem-solving that recognises the need for collaboration, and will see countries rich, and poor, working together to promote prosperity for all, whilst ensuring they protect the planet for future generations…

With many thanks and appreciation to the incredible photographer @aariefhusan for letting me use this beautiful photograph from his slow documentary ‘Invisible’ – that highlights the plight of women and children who are victims of extreme environmental conditions, military transgression, and constant human rights violations.

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