From massive technological improvements to the ever-growing global communications network, world progress has proved exponential in the past 30 years. One such area of improvement is the global poverty crisis. While we advocate for further intervention within affected communities, it’s appropriate to step back occasionally and admire some victories made to this point. Since 1990, the statistics for poverty have plummeted. The extreme poverty rate globally fell from 35% to 11%. This means that 1.1 billion people are now living off of more per day than in the past. No individual body or organization can earn full credit for this global reduction in poverty; the effort is a result of dedication and persistence among a plethora of governments, groups and interested parties.
What Caused the “Lift?”
While the causes for the widespread poverty alleviation are varied, there are some programs that are generally implemented by governments (both locally and internationally) or even non-governmental organizations that work effectively to reduce poverty. These programs include microfinance, employment guaranteed schemes and property rights, among others.
NGOs are myriad and diverse. Some work directly in communities while others advocate for government assistance with these humanitarian issues. Two different but equally important contributors to this cause are Global Citizen and Oxfam International.
What these Groups Do
Oxfam International is an organization dedicated to creating change within local communities. Initially a combination of multiple independent NGOs, Oxfam has had enormous success globally since its inception, assisting local communities suffering from famine, disease and even sanitation struggles. Currently, its attention is focused on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh.
Global Citizen is a unique non-profit focused on educating people about global issues regarding education, sanitation, food availability and social awareness. The website has short quizzes, “actions” and other available resources for people to interact with. All of these resources serve a purpose, whether it be education, advocacy or simply direct fundraising. In turn, the person earns “points,” and these points can go toward raffles and gift opportunities. The website rewards initiative on the part of the reader, making poverty education interesting.
Together, these two groups have advocated and assisted vulnerable groups in impoverished countries. The success of these groups adds to the general trend in lower poverty rates worldwide, and many different organizations spanning every continent deserve praise for the improved global living conditions we’ve seen since 1990. The global reduction in poverty requires unification, and with plenty of different groups focused on different tasks, the success is apparent.
Room for Progress
Despite the success to date, the opportunities to improve globally still exist. Regarding the aforementioned decrease in extreme poverty, 11% of the globe is still around 800 million impoverished people, and with modern resources, experts think the battle could be more efficient. As such, it’s important to look at the global reduction in poverty through these lenses: if foreign governments and organizations become content with the work done to this point, public interest in the fight would surely cease. The fight against poverty only persists as long as the world cares about it and the global community continues to contribute.
– Joe Clark