Global poverty and social innovationAlthough the world was inching closer to eliminating global poverty prior to COVID-19, the pandemic’s lasting negative impacts exacerbated global poverty conditions all over the globe. COVID-19 was expected to push up to 115 million more people into extreme poverty in 2020, adding up to about 150 million by the end of 2021. However, there is hope for the resolution of global issues with the intersection of global poverty and social innovation. Stat Zero Ventures brings this intersection to life.

Stat Zero Ventures

With the prominent negative impacts of COVID-19 on poverty, the economy and ways of life, it is more important than ever to address the impoverished conditions that affect millions around the world. Combining entrepreneurship with issues of global poverty and social innovation, Marquis Cabrera, a leader in social innovation, launched a movement to accelerate progress toward poverty eradication.

Stat Zero Ventures uses innovative methods, including technology and venture capital, to aim for a world without poverty, pollution and diseases. Providing feasible solutions, the organization sponsors specific projects to accelerate these social goals. “Stat Zero Ventures invents, builds and invests in tech-enabled impact ventures” with the support of investors, international government agencies, celebrity offices and Fortune 100 companies.

Addressing Global Issues

Based in California, Stat Zero runs by the motto that “zero is the greatest number.” In other words, the company’s mission is to achieve a world with zero poverty, zero diseases and zero pollution. Through partnerships with a variety of organizations, Stat Zero supports impact ventures with diverse social, economic and environmental purposes.

At the intersection of global poverty and social innovation, Stat Zero unites governments with impact investors and social entrepreneurs who come together to solve pressing issues around the globe. Global issues of interest range from poverty alleviation to sustainability, with main focuses on “healthcare, energy, climate and sustainability, education, national infrastructure and social programs.” Thus far, Stat Zero has recycled more than 40 tons of plastic for carbon reduction and has given more than 100,000 people access to “digital medicine and finance” in the United States, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Extended Reach

Additionally, the organization has extended its reach to include the goals of zero illiteracy and zero inequality. When choosing to invest in a social venture, Stat Zero ventures looks at the financials of the partnering company, assessing potential risks, the feasibility of the intended solution and whether the venture aligns with the “zero” mission.

Stat Zero provides industry experience to government authorities in China, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico. This expertise guides advice on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), investing in best practice strategies to rebuild local economies in these countries.

Technological Innovation and Global Poverty

Uniting challenges of global poverty and social innovation advances the ability to address issues of poverty, social equality and sustainability through creative outlets. Stat Zero forges strong technological partnerships with investment firms that allow for innovation of ideas that limit waste, build wealth and advance healthcare and educational access to those in poverty.

Advanced technology has the power to change the world, as seen over the last century of industrialization. Through greater access to information and resources as well as innovative, creative ideas, solutions are forged. With operations such as Stat Zero, partnerships have the ability to use advancements to achieve desirable social outcomes such as eradicating global poverty or increasing overall sustainability practices.

-Kylie Lally
Photo: Unsplash

Way to Support Albania
Since the beginning of COVID-19, the unemployment rate in Albania increased from 12.33% to 12.81%. As thousands of Albanian people have entered poverty, UNICEF Albania and other humanitarian organizations are leading the way to support Albania during these trying times.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Albania started its COVID-19 response on March 9, 2020, by helping the Regional Local Democracy Programme (ReLOaD). The ReLOaD program helps update projects that deliver hygiene packages to vulnerable households. It also supports Albanian farmers with seeds and Albanian children with online learning materials. Support has reached 11 areas from Tirana to Lezhë, Albania. The UNDP even created an International Romani Day campaign where approximately 1,150 Albanian households received food and hygiene packages in April 2020.

UNICEF Albania

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Albania works to protect child rights with government and organization partners. Through programs supporting social and child protection, education and early childhood development, UNICEF Albania has three priorities: respecting child rights while implementing social inclusion through maintaining family access to the Albanian justice system, reforming the social care system and keeping children in school with NGO support.

In April 2020 and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF Albania supported a child protection organization statement about how thousands of children can receive protection from violence. This can occur through phone helplines, temporary shelters and professional workforces in Albania. In response to the call to action, child protection helplines underwent initiation in June 2020 through UNICEF and The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPIHA) support.

Educational Support in Albania

World Vision Albania and Kosovo Education and Youth Technical Advisor Brisida Jahaj told The Borgen Project that, “There was a huge challenge with families in poorer households.” This is because the families do not have the IT equipment or the internet for children to continue their education in Albania. The Ministry of Education in Albania found that 10,000 children lost educational resources over COVID-19.

Regarding education, UNICEF Albania has partnered and supported the Akademi.al online learning platform since 2019. Plans intend to implement it online and on television for all students by 2021. Funding from UNICEF and support from the Ministry of Education in Albania gave Akademi.al the opportunity to put approximately 1,100 lessons online for students taking Matura exams in Albania. Jahaj describes the platform as a “backup plan that if we go into the third level scenario,” wherein Albanian schools shut down in 2021.

In August 2020, UNICEF Albania worked to combat poverty due to COVID-19 by initiating its first Albanian cash transfer program to approximately 1,700 vulnerable families in Shkodër, Korçë and Durrës, Albania.

UNICEF Albania and the World Health Organization (WHO) also established an online training program to teach professionals about Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and how to implement support to vulnerable populations during emergencies from May to July 2020. The eight module training course helps professionals master how to support mental health and psychosocial issues during emergencies. Approximately 230 frontline professionals obtained certification by September 2020.

Red Cross and World Vision

Albania experienced a series of earthquakes on November 26, 2019, which impacted approximately 200,000 Albanians. The Albania Red Cross responded to the earthquakes by sending 160 volunteers and providing 4,500 shelter relief packages to families who lost homes. The Albanian Red Cross received a 2020 Coca-Cola Company $100,000 grant in the wake of the pandemic to give community food aid and medical equipment to Albanian hospitals.

The Qatar Red Crescent Society partnered with the Albanian Red Cross to provide food package relief to 700 vulnerable families as a way to support Albania. Following the initial response, the Albanian Red Cross collaborated with Better Shelter. A total of 52 Better Shelters underwent construction in Durrës, Krujë, Laç, Shijak and Tirana, Albania, while home reconstruction continues through 2021.

World Vision Albania also helped with the earthquake response in Durrës, Lezhë, Kamëz and Kurbin, Albania by giving food and hygiene aid to 1,019 families and materials to help 27 families with home reconstruction. Jahaj told The Borgen Project that food and hygiene aid will continue in 2021 as World Vision and other humanitarian organizations including Save the Children and UNICEF provide “a lot of the masks and hand sanitizers for the schools” in Albania.

Where is Albania Now?

As of 2021, several humanitarian organizations are working to protect children and vulnerable individuals from the impact of the Albanian earthquakes and COVID-19 on the ground and online. Jahaj explained how World Vision Albania utilizes the Building Secure Livelihoods economic development program to help alleviate poverty while helping parents provide for their children from 2019 until 2023.

On all fronts, UNICEF, World Vision, Save the Children and the Albanian Red Cross responded to Albanian communities. By providing everything from medical care, earthquake shelter, child protection and online learning directly to families, these organizations have found a way to support Albania. As of January 2021, humanitarian organizations continue to work on home reconstruction, mental health support and flood response. Furthermore, Albania acquired 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to distribute in 2021.

– Evan Winslow
Photo: Flickr

Roxburgh rose in GuizhouThe Guizhou Province, located in Southwest China, is famous for its beautiful landscapes, reigning mountain ranges and for being a multi-minority region. The province is landlocked, stretching “350 miles from east to west and 320 miles from north to south.” With that much land to cover, it’s no wonder agriculture is one of the main sources of income for rural communities. The crops grown in Guizhou are mainly graze crops including wheat, corn, rice, potatoes and beans. Unfortunately, the harvest is not enough to support local farmers. But, individuals in rural areas have found a great way to turn Guizhou’s natural environment into a booming market with flowers. The cultivation of the Roxburgh rose in Guizhou is helping the province rise out of poverty.

The Story of the Roxburgh Rose in Guizhou

The Roxburgh rose, also known as the chestnut rose, is a soft pink color with a yellow center. The petals are flatter and more spread out than the typical rose giving it the appearance of a large daisy. The plant grows a small, spiky, bitter fruit that many thought had no value. However, villagers who joined the Roxburgh rose industry realized it could be a reliable, profitable source.

The pungent, tart fruit of the rose is known for being extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Some companies claim it has the largest amount of vitamin c of any other fruit. From it, you can produce wine, sparkling beverages and dried candies.

In this region of China, it’s hard to grow continuous crops in the rocky landscape. In Xichong, a city in the Guizhou Province, a man named Ma Jinyou discovered his land had the perfect soil for growing Roxburgh roses. When a group of researchers from the South China University of Technology came to Guizhou to study the pedology of the region, they knew the conditions were ideal. According to Jinyou, a good harvest could bring in around five thousand kilograms of fruit. For that amount of fruit, Jinyou makes a profit of 30,000 yuans ($4,467.61). Soon, Jinyou was able to see his investment in the Roxburgh rose got him out of poverty.

In an article by en.people.cn (Daily People China) they state, “The industry helped 1,798 local people increase their annual income by an average of more than 9,000 yuan.” The Roxburgh roses in Guizhou are helping many individuals rise above the poverty line.

The Beginning of the Roxburgh Rose Industry

Although tourism has been an effective way to lower the poverty rates employing over 900,000 people, Guizhou has been creating opportunities for the rose market. On August 13, 2020 the Roxburgh rose industry was launched in Guizhou, China. Two companies emerged in Bijie to start up the creation of Roxburgh rose products, including The Guangyao Wanglaoji Cininghi Innovation Center and The Guangyao Wanglaoji Industry Company Limited. The two companies are planning to alleviate poverty throughout the Guizhou province by creating a new market and new jobs.

Beverages and dried candies are two of the latest products. GPHL’s chairman, Li Chiyuan, agreed that for every 12 cans sold of Roxburgh rose drinks, his company will donate two yuans to fighting poverty in Guizhou.

In support of the new changes, local institutes wanted to assist in reducing poverty. The Roxburgh rose in Guizhou is now part of research projects in hospitals and respiratory disease research to further discover the benefits of the flower.

– Jessica LaVopa
Photo: Flickr


Agribusinesses in Trifinio, Guatemala renovated cattle and pasture lands into crops for exports which dramatically changed the area. The transformation drove approximately 25,000 people into this remote area in the southwest rural region of Guatemala and employed thousands of people who sought an opportunity in this growing business. The University of Colorado created a healthcare alliance to provide quality medical treatments in the now booming community.

Trifinio, Guatemala

Few people know about Trifinio, Guatemala even though it is a major producer for AgroAmerica’s Chiquita bananas. The town is made up of small concrete houses and only a few paved roads. Most homes are single-room units. When it comes to cultural development, the town’s only form of entertainment is a local bar.

This small and highly impoverished community suffers from the reality of poor health care access. With its nearest hospital one hour away in the town of Coatepeque Guatemala, the residents of this area face the challenges of malnutrition, high infant mortality rates, and a range of infectious diseases. More than 46% of children have intestinal parasites, 38.7% of children have anemia and one-third of women are affected by pregnancy complications. The numbers could not say it clearly enough; this community needed help. Fortunately, AgroAmerica teamed up with the University of Colorado to find a solution.

University of Colorado partners with AgroAmerica

In 2011 Fernando and Gustavo Bolaños, brothers and CEOs and COOs of AgroAmerica, became frustrated by the lack of health care access in their community. With Guatemala’s history of little investment in healthcare, they found themselves unable to ask the public sector for help. Gustavo Bolaños himself addressed this issue in an interview where he claimed, “In Guatemala, we have a lot of inequality and poverty, the government hasn’t been able to really cover the basic needs of the population. We as a private company, see all the needs of our people, and the biggest problem we are facing is education and health”. Therefore, rather than going to the government, they turned to the University of Colorado’s Global Health Center.

With an investment of 1 million U.S. dollars, the Bolaños made a healthcare alliance with the Colorado School of Public Health. Their goal was to build a medical center on their banana plantation. Three years later, the Bolaños proudly stood before the new medical facility. It houses a clinic, laboratory and conference space. The Trifinio Center for Human Development serves around 4,500 plantation workers, along with the 24,000 residents of the neighboring villages, and is “staffed by CU doctors, nurses, midwives, students and other health professionals rotating through Guatemala”.

The Last Six Years

Before Trifinio’s Center for Human Development (CHD) a visit to a health professional cost people in this community at least $25 USD. This did not include transportation fees and the loss of a day’s wages. With the medical facility, that cost has dropped to less than $5 USD. Families now have access to health resources without a geographical and economic barrier. The clinic is committed to decreasing neonatal morbidity, childhood mortality and increasing safe delivery practices and childhood growth and development. Along with these medical goals, the center hopes to impact the health education and social realities of its community.

In 2017, the CHD began a youth leadership program run by participating high-school students from the area. This initiative provided an opportunity for future leaders to learn about community organizing and advocacy that could improve human development. The program not just helps the community, but “students selected for this program receive a scholarship to cover their school fees,” promoting access for educational attainment.

Along with the youth program, the center provides sexual health education to neighboring schools in the area. For mothers, it has a maternal and child health program. This provides quality prenatal care and gives families a direct line for medical professionals to track both the mother’s and child’s health.

The center also conducts research to serve the needs of the community and bring new knowledge to the rest of the world. Their Student Health Survey, taken in late June and early July of 2019 “enrolled 1,414 participants from 15 Trifinio middle and high schools” to better understand the health and social realities of these children, and hopefully address the needs that are found.

The Future

In 2013 Stephen Berman, the director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Colorado said, “The solutions we develop through this program may someday be replicated in communities all over the world”. The program has had measurable benefits for its community, which is a good reason for its replication in other regions. Health care accessibility is not an easy system. But we saw major success through the healthcare alliance of a privately run company and a public institution. There are possibilities for new solutions to address the needs of those most vulnerable.

Ana Paola Asturias
Photo: Flickr

Fight Against Extreme Poverty
Extreme poverty is a complex global issue and figuring out how to best alleviate it is a complicated challenge. The effective altruism movement aims to help solve this challenge by using data-driven evidence to find the best ways to fight against extreme poverty.

What is Effective Altruism?

Effective altruism involves using data and evidence to determine the best methods to help improve the world with its limited resources. For example, one important aspect of effective altruism is determining which issues experience neglect. These are issues that receive relatively little attention and funding in comparison with the value of solving or mitigating these issues. Effective altruism also promotes the use of data and transparency when looking at the success of charitable initiatives. With proper data, it is easier to determine if an initiative is helping improve lives, as well as how cost-effective it is.

Many frequently consider extreme poverty a neglected issue in effective altruism, because just small amounts of additional money and resources could substantially improve or even save a life if used effectively. William MacAskill, the author of “Doing Good Better,” estimates that it would cost just $3,400 to save the life of someone living in an impoverished country.

Many people want to help improve the world and have the ability to save a life, as McAskill explains, but the data involved in effective altruism and struggle to determine the best charitable initiatives overwhelms them. Some effective altruism organizations recognize this and conduct research for their donors to help them have the largest individual impact on those living in extreme poverty.

One for the World (OFTW)

Founded in 2014, One for the World (OFTW) is a relatively new organization that creates a portfolio of the most effective charitable initiatives fighting extreme poverty across the world. These are charities that provide enough data and are transparent enough to determine their efficacy and change as the data changes. These are frequently charities that help people meet basic health needs because they are low cost and high reward. According to OFTW, just $2.50 in the hands of the right charitable program can provide someone with an antimalarial bednet. Correspondingly, OFTW’s “Top Picks” are primarily charitable initiatives that focus on health, including vitamin A and antimalarial drug distribution to children, antimalarial bed net distribution and deworming. The remaining top pick is GiveDirectly, which provides one-time cash transfers directly to those living in poverty.

In addition to this unique portfolio of charities, OFTW also asks for donations in a fairly uncommon way. The organization focuses primarily on college campuses and encourages students to pledge 1% of their post-graduation income to these most effective charities. It is a great way to raise awareness among young people about effective altruism and the fight against extreme poverty, and college students in wealthy countries typically have a high future earning potential.

Kennan McClung, Director of Growth and Development at OFTW, explained to The Borgen Project that “[t]he OFTW pledge is important for college students to make because it is so simple, so easy and so effective. Without changing your lifestyle at all, you can markedly improve the lives of hundreds of people every year, saving multiple lives over the course of your career.” OFTW gives individuals the opportunity to have a large individual impact on the fight against extreme poverty.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the work that OFTW does is all the more important. McClung also touched on this, explaining that “[t]he looming economic recession is going to have disastrous effects in the developing world, with hundreds of millions of people expected to fall back into extreme poverty and years of progress expected to be erased. It’s more important than ever to not only support people living on so little but ensure that we are doing so in the most effective way possible.” It is also important to note that anyone, not just college students, can take the 1% pledge and start giving right away if in the position to do so.

McClung emphasizes that “OFTW members pursue a wide range of different careers, engage in other forms of philanthropy and volunteering, and have a diverse array of interests and values. That said, we are all united in the belief that we can live very reasonably on 99% of our incomes, and are committed to doing our part to make the world a better place — effectively.” Anyone can take the pledge and start improving lives today.

Givewell

Givewell, a partner of OFTW, is another research-driven organization to find the most effective charities working on a variety of causes, although particularly extreme poverty. It provides OFTW with a list of the most effective charities fighting global poverty. Individuals can also lookup various nonprofits on the website to see how effective they are according to Givewell’s measures.

Effective altruism uses data to determine which charitable initiatives are the most effective at combating neglected issues. Extreme poverty is among the most neglected, and therefore research to discover the best ways to fight it is extremely important. Giving to charities that provide data and have shown that their efforts are successful is ideal, but often it can be very time-consuming and overwhelming for an individual donor to complete alone. This is where charities like OFTW and Givewell step in, completing this important research and encouraging donors to give to the best charitable programs based on the available data. OFTW and Givewell have found that many of the best initiatives work to help provide for basic health needs, such as antimalarial bednet distribution and deworming.

Effective altruism can seem complicated and overwhelming at first, but it does not need to be. It simply aims to find the best ways to help improve lives using data. Fighting extreme poverty is a key issue in effective altruism because relatively small amounts of money can have a substantial impact if used effectively. Organizations like OFTW and Givewell do the heavy lifting for donors and determine which charitable initiatives are most cost-effective, could best use additional funds, are transparent and have a track record of success. This makes fighting extreme poverty in very effective ways possible for many people around the world.

– Kayleigh Crabb
Photo: Flickr

5 Things to Know About Women's Rights in AlgeriaThe Algerian constitution states that all citizens are created equal. There should not be discrimination based on “birth, race, sex, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.” This sounds perfect until you realize that a “family code” was put into place in the 1980s that would treat women as minors under the legal guardianship of their husbands and fathers. Algeria has made some changes to the code since its implementation. These changes are a result of years of activism and pressure on the government to allow women more rights and to be seen as equals. Here are five facts about women’s rights in Algeria.

5 Facts About Women’s Right in Algeria

  1. There is more equality for women in the job market. In February 2016, the government introduced an article that would make the state work to attain equality in the job market. The article “encourages the promotion of women to positions of responsibility in public institutions and in business.” There are no legal restrictions on the professions women choose. However, according to the family code, the husband can revoke the wife’s career path if he does not agree with it. Some men would prefer women to choose more feminine career paths, such as healthcare and education.
  2. Some forms of domestic violence are criminalized. The government adopted amendments to the family code in December 2015 that can protect women in the case of domestic violence. Assault on a spouse or former spouse can result in 20 years of imprisonment. Assaults resulting in death can have a consequence of life in prison. The amendment also criminalized sexual harassment in public spaces. This is a major win for women considering their violent and traumatic past. During Algeria’s civil war in the 90s, known as the Black Decade, women were targets of extremists. Teachers, businesswomen, drivers and women engaged in the public sphere were especially targeted. These women would often get raped, murdered or disappear during that time. Having these amendments does not take away the brutal past, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.
  3. Women have more access to divorce and child custody. Despite new laws that would allow women more access to divorce and child custody, women still find it hard to divorce their husbands. Women need approval from the courts and have to meet certain criteria before initiating the divorce, whereas men do not need justification. On top of needing men to approve the divorce, women also risk losing their property and assets if they decide to end their marriage.
  4. Many organizations are fighting for women’s rights in Algeria. There are 30 organizations in Algeria fighting women’s oppression. These organizations are a part of a network created by the Civil Society Collective for a Democratic Transition which was a result of protests for women’s rights in 2019. Many of these organizations are led by women. One organization, in particular, Djazairouna, has been around since the mid-90s. This organization helped families affected by the Black Decade. They provided moral, psychological and legal assistance to the victims. They would also attend their funerals. Traditionally, only men were allowed to attend funerals but during the Black Decade, women started going as an act of protest. They would state that it was not the victim’s fault they were caught in the crossfire but the extremists’ fault. Since the Black Decade, Djazairouna continued to pursue justice for the victims’ families.
  5. Women have an equal opportunity to hold public office. Many of the organizations fighting for women’s rights in Algeria have been behind major legislation that would give women equality and greater political representation. In 2012, about 30% of seats in the government’s cabinet were held by women, and again in 2014. Women also make up half of the judges, 44% of magistrates and 66% of justice professionals in lower courts.

Algeria has made significant progress in the realm of women’s rights. However, as the protests in 2019 have proven, the country still has room for improvement to allow women to be seen and treated as equals.

—Jackson Lebedun
Photo: Flickr

SDG 1 in the United Republic of TanzaniaAs of July 1, 2020, the World Bank reclassified the United Republic of Tanzania from a “low-income” nation to a “lower-middle-income” nation. This new status results from a variety of indicators that inform the nation’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, such as economic growth, exchange rates and more. While GNI per capita is not a direct measurement of poverty reduction, it does indicate that Tanzania’s economy is progressing in the right direction to meet the U.N.’s first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to eradicate poverty globally by 2030. Updates on SDG Goal 1 in the United Republic of Tanzania make it clear that while the country has not met the goal yet, it has overseen a significant reduction in extreme poverty in the last few decades. Here are some updates on SDG Goal 1 in the United Republic of Tanzania.

Updates on SDG Goal 1 in the United Republic of Tanzania

The World Bank’s 2019 Mainland Poverty Assessment found that extreme poverty in the United Republic of Tanzania fell from 11.7% in 2007 to 8.0% in 2018. This significant improvement comes with the finding that the severity of poverty has also declined during this period, meaning that Tanzanians living under the poverty line have become less poor on average.

However, while a smaller proportion of the Tanzanian population lives in extreme poverty today, many remain vulnerable. For every four people who can move out of poverty in Tanzania, three individuals fall into poverty. This demonstrates the constant financial instability that many non-poor Tanzanians face. It also illustrates the importance of effective social welfare programs in reducing vulnerability.

The Importance of Investing in the Rural Economy

One of the initiatives that has contributed to these updates on SDG Goal 1 in the United Republic of Tanzania is a project funded by the African Development Bank. The program, which rolled out in stages between 2012 and 2017, developed market infrastructure and improved the financial security of rural Tanzanians. Its $56.8 million budget allowed it to reach 6.1 million Tanzanians spanning 32 districts. The multifaceted program had a significant impact on the livelihoods of its recipients. Approximately 78% reported an increase in their income after participating in the program. Indeed, the program raised beneficiaries’ average income from $41 in 2012 to $133 in 2017.

In the last few decades, most poverty reduction in Tanzania occurred in rural areas. This is significant because of the persistent disparity in living standards and wealth between rural and urban areas. Although rural households still lag behind urban ones on most indicators of wealth, poverty reduction programs in rural Tanzania helped to narrow this gap. The African Development Bank’s program, for example, refurbished roads and created warehouses in rural areas. This reduced transportation costs for Tanzanian farmers and led to a drop in “post-harvest losses.”

Reforming the Private Sector for Poverty Reduction

The majority of Tanzanians work in the informal sector. Unfortunately, this lack of access to formal finance limits small business owners’ ability rise out of poverty. In order to continue making progress on eliminating extreme poverty in Tanzania, the government and external actors must remain focused on this issue.

Recently, the African Development Bank announced that it will focus its efforts on economic growth in Tanzania’s private sector. In December 2019, the Bank approved a $55 million facility support to the government in implementing regulatory reforms in the private sector. The Bank believes this is a necessary step toward creating an inclusive business landscape in the nation. Additionally, this effort should help Tanzania progress toward SDG Goal 1 by creating more equal and plentiful employment opportunities for Tanzanians.

COVID-19 and Updates on SDG Goal 1 in the United Republic of Tanzania

Due to its focus on economic growth, the Tanzanian government has enacted a relatively lax response to COVID-19 compared to neighboring countries. However, tourism made up 11.7% of Tanzania’s GDP in 2019. Because the pandemic has hit the tourism industry hard, Tanzania’s economy has suffered. In addition, a reduction in agricultural exports has greatly affected the Tanzanian economy. The combination of these factors will inevitably impact the nation’s poor. A study by the International Growth Centre shows that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent social distancing and lockdown measures have put approximately 9.1% of sub-Saharan Africa back into extreme poverty. As such, the pandemic has certainly hindered Tanzania’s progress on SDG Goal 1.

Looking forward, Tanzania will need a collaborative effort to lift Tanzanians out of extreme poverty once the pandemic is over. The Tanzanian government as well as international actors must work together to recoup Tanzania’s progress toward achieving SDG Goal 1. Though the pandemic has caused some setbacks, Tanzania must continue to focus on poverty eradication in order to meet this goal.

Leina Gabra
Photo: Flickr

baseball players helping to fight povertyMajor League Baseball encompasses players from all around the world who go to North America to play the highest level of baseball. Players often come from humble beginnings and struggle along the way, in order to make it playing professional baseball. It isn’t uncommon for players to come from impoverished communities to play professional baseball. Players often want to give back to the people in their native communities who helped them achieve their dream, while also inspiring other athletes to help poverty-stricken communities. There are several professional baseball players helping to fight poverty. There are also baseball charity campaigns joining in the fight.

Baseball Players Helping to Fight Poverty

  1. David Ortiz: Ortiz grew up in the Dominican Republic and would later become a sports icon in Boston, winning three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox. Ortiz founded the David Ortiz Children’s Fund to help children in Boston and his native country of the Dominican Republic have essential cardiac services that they need, like cardiac surgeries. To date, his children’s fund has provided over 1,600 low-income children with detection and screening for cardiac care, support for a regular rural outreach and detection program in the Dominican Republic and child life specialist support for over 4,000 children.
  2. Albert Pujols: Pujols also grew up in the Dominican Republic and is a three-time Most Valuable Player award winner and a two-time World Series Champion. In 2005, Pujols and his wife started the Pujols Family Foundation which aims to meet the needs of children with Down syndrome and improve the quality of life of impoverished people in the Dominican Republic. The foundation provides impoverished people in the Dominican Republic with health care, mentorship and education. The foundation set up a vocational school that teaches women how to sew and make jewelry. Over 18,000 people in the most desolate areas of the country have received medical care thanks to the foundation.
  3. Striking Out Poverty 2019: Throughout the 2019 baseball season, a number of individuals joined together to launch a campaign titled Striking Out Poverty 2019. The campaign is a joint initiative between Big League Impact and Food for the Hungry. Big League Impact helps impoverished communities have basic needs fulfilled like clean water, food and medical care. Food for the Hungry works in some of the poorest countries in the world, helping those most in need with food, along with educational and vocational training. Striking Out Poverty 2019 raised nearly $300,000 for these organizations through six sub-campaigns among individual players or teams.
  4. Luke Weaver: A pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Luke Weaver raised $132,610 through his 22X campaign, which will go towards helping Rohingya refugees. Weaver’s total amount raised came from his strikeout total which was 69. Through his donation and matching donations, each strikeout of his was worth $1,921.88.
  5. Nick Ahmed: Among the baseball players helping to fight poverty is Nick Ahmed. This shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks raised $104,575 from his Every Hit Makes a Difference campaign, part of which will go towards a community center in the Dominican Republic. The center will be a place for education and job training as well as a place to receive medicine. The total came through donations and his own contribution. Each hit of his amounted to $736.44 towards his campaign.

As an international sport that brings players together from all over the world and from all different backgrounds, baseball has the power to unite. Players like David Ortiz and Albert Pujols have given back to the communities that they grew up in, improving the lives of those who walk the same ground they walked before they were professional athletes. The Striking Out Poverty 2019 campaign has also helped individuals who are affected by poverty. The Professional baseball community and its fight against poverty shows the impact that can be made when individuals who have a platform help those in need.

Zachary Laird
Photo: Flickr

Strategy of Pro-Poor Tourism to Alleviate Global Poverty
Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) is an approach to reduce poverty in developing nations. Areas across the globe, including regions like Africa, Asia, South America and India, have successfully adopted PPT. In addition, PPT’s principal goal is to generate net benefits for poor communities. The strategy of Pro-Poor Tourism aims to increase economic stability and mitigate the negative effects of local cultures and environments. In order to do so, developing countries must apply several strategies.

Strategies of Pro-Poor Tourism

Tourism accounts for 11% of the world’s economy. Tourism is a rapidly growing market and industry. Countries promoting tourism experience economic growth rates of over 9% per year. The industry employs hundreds of millions of people.

There are three strategies for Pro-Poor Tourism. The first strategy of Pro-Poor Tourism is to increase the financial profits of the poor. PPT promotes the growth of local occupational opportunities and the development of local businesses that supply products for the tourist industry. The second strategy is to enrich the lives of native citizens. PPT provides locals with availability to facilities and services originally established for tourists. The third strategy of Pro-Poor Tourism is to stimulate collaboration with the poor. This involves promoting the participation of the poor in the government and private sectors. In addition, it also includes increasing policy formation that supports the involvement of the poor.

Success in Kerala, India

In Kerala, the early adoption of tourism led to decreases in agricultural produce, increases in unemployment and a decrease in availability to local waterways. Hotels and restaurants employed individuals from poorer parts of the country, farmers sold their property for quick money and tour operations damaged local fishing equipment. In addition, Kerala’s Department of Tourism discussed a Pro-Poor Tourism reform in 2007. The strategy was labeled “Responsible Tourism.”

Over a dozen of hotels agreed to purchase numerous products from the local economy. As a result, this agreement created several businesses such as a fish administering division, a chappathy division, agricultural coalitions and coconut suppliers. Furthermore, hotels later arranged to purchase items from craft businesses, performances from a women’s traditional dance group and local art business. These opportunities enhanced the preservation of traditional Kerala cultures. This pro-poor tourism reform specifically focused on the expansion of jobs for women. Now, nearly 1,000 women participate in agribusiness, skilled labor, tour operations and wholesale enterprises.

Success in Bangladesh, India

The St. Martin Islands of Bangladesh have also implemented PPT. A qualitative research study reveals local residents now have more access to markets. Hence, there are more opportunities to sell products. In addition, natives of all ages participate in various activities involved in tourism operations.

The study also reports that local residents receive direct benefits of sustainable tourism. Local residents participate in the transaction of crafts, local resources, entertainment events and the production of infrastructure. Consequently, locals now have access to medical facilities, nontoxic water and hygiene services. Only 20% of locals interviewed believe tourism did not alleviate poverty in their community.

The application of Pro-Poor Tourism reform benefits the lives of native residents by increasing economic opportunity while maintaining culture and preserving the environment. Areas must plan and apply strategies of Pro-Poor Tourism appropriately per context. It is also important for governments, agencies and donors to apply PPT strategies with the growth of poor communities as the soul of the operation.

John Brinkman
Photo: Flickr