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Which Countries Give the Most Foreign Aid?In 2005, 15 countries agreed to dedicate 0.7 percent of their Gross National Income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance (ODA). ODA, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) stands for “the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries”. The hope was to reach this goal by 2015, however, only seven countries reached this goal. Of these seven, five reached higher than the target percentage.

Wondering which countries give the most foreign aid? Here are the top five countries by the above-mentioned criteria.

Countries That Give the Most Foreign Aid

  1. Sweden – Sweden currently stands at number one in ODA support among countries from the European Union. In 2015, 1.4 percent of Sweden’s GNI, or $7.1 billion was ODA assistance. This was a dramatic increase from 2014 and was the result of in-donor refugee costs that cost $1.1 billion. That same year, over 160,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden. Most of Sweden’s ODA assistance was bilateral, meaning money was given directly to other governments. The money was mainly directed towards gender equality. More than $2 million were allocated and the focus of this money was largely geared towards population and reproductive health. During this time Sweden also integrated a Feminist Foreign Policy approach that ensures that women have the ability to access their human rights.   
  2. Norway – In 2015, Norway dedicated $4.3 billion to ODA support. This represented just over 1 percent of Norway’s GNI. This was a slight decrease from 2013, but Norway still remained above the dedicated 0.7 percent of GNI and ranks higher than most countries within the European Union. Most of Norway’s ODA support was for environmental causes. Thirty-four percent of their bilateral aid was focused on the environment (this translates to $1.3 billion). One of the biggest environmental issues that Norway addressed was climate change, and Norway developed an Oil for Development program for this mean. This program helps developing countries oversee their oil resources in a more sustainable way.
  3. Luxembourg – Luxembourg spent 0.93 percent of GNI od ODA, which totaled to $361 million. Most of this money was focused on economic development, more specifically strengthening the local private sector. Luxembourg helped developing countries economies in several ways. One of the most important was helping to improve trade performance and integration into the world economy. In total, $44 million went towards economic aid. The region that received a majority of this money was sub-Saharan Africa that took 44 percent of Luxembourg’s total bilateral aid.     
  4. Denmark  Denmark achieved 0.1 percent more than the established goal, which equated to more than $2.5 billion in ODA assistance. This was a slight increase from 2014, however, aid is expected to decrease slightly in the future. Despite this decrease, Denmark plans to remain at 0.7 percent of GNI spending towards ODA. Like Sweden, most of this money was provided to gender equality initiatives. The amount of bilateral aid that went towards gender equality was around $1 billion. Roughly 59 percent of this money had the objective of women’s empowerment. Denmark was above average in this category, since the average aid of countries from the European Union was 34 percent.
  5. The Netherlands – The last of the top five countries on the list is the Netherlands. ODA from Norway reached 0.76 percent of GNI spending or $5.8 billion in total numbers. This was an increase of 24 percent from the previous year and like Sweden, this was largely due to in-donor refugee costs. Also like Sweden, most of the Netherland’s ODA went towards gender equality, in the total of $1.6 billion. This is the result of spending toward reproductive health, water, sanitation and economic infrastructure, which all have an emphasis on gender.

Although many countries out of 15 that have promised to spend their GNI od ODA haven’t done that, the countries that did reach a goal showed that several developed countries view foreign assistance as an important piece of their economy. The top five countries presented in this text are the good examples of how can developed countries provide help to other, less developed countries.

– Drew Garbe

Photo: Flickr

Mandela Quotes on PovertyPoverty can be an all too common sight, particularly when images and statistics saturate social media placing a wedge of detachment between the impoverished and those not impoverished. There are more than 640 million people suffering from extreme poverty today. To each of these people, poverty carries a burden difficult to understand from the perspective of those that just hear, read or see it on the news. Poverty is a hardship that is not nearly as simple as lacking food, clothing or shelter.

Nelson Mandela, the former first black president of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary, had constantly implored the world to re-open its dulled senses to the tribulations of poverty. From his years as a lawyer and human rights activist, he successfully overturned apartheid in South Africa and ventured beyond the borders to end the injustice of poverty in all nations.

“He proved that equal respect and treatment of every person is and must continue to be an achievable reality everywhere in the world,” Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, said in a statement. “Nelson Mandela was a modern-day prophet for human dignity whose voice was heard around the world.” Below are the top five Nelson Mandela quotes on poverty that invite a renewed and clearer understanding of how his views on poverty can inspire the world.

Top 5 Mandela Quotes on Poverty

  1. “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” – London’s Trafalgar Square in 2005.
  2. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.” – London’s Trafalgar Square in 2005.
  3. “Do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognise that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision.”
  4. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” – London’s Trafalgar Square in 2005.
  5. “In this new century, millions of people in the world’s poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free.”

These five quotes depict a powerful image of poverty that scrutinizes aspects of status beyond just its basic definition. Mandela chose to focus on an optimistic possibility of overcoming poverty as opposed to becoming overwhelmed by the tragedy of it. The attitude of those who witness poverty can be a force large enough to reinvigorate the world to push for the change it needs.

 

– Alice Lieu
Photo: Flickr

Poverty in the WorldAccording to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO,“Poverty is about money, but never just about money”. Read further to understand what poverty in the world looks like today. 

Understanding Poverty

  • Around the world, 3 billion people have $2 to live on per day. The World Bank defines those people as the ones who live below the poverty line.
  • Fighting poverty in the world means understanding human rights.
  • Unfair distribution of income affects poverty dramatically.
  • 29 million children live in poverty in North Africa and the Middle East. Without help, they can be trapped in a three-generation poverty cycle and develop future cognitive problems.
  • Nonprofit organizations have a key role in giving the needy a voice.

If poverty were addressed as a violation of human rights, the needy in the world would have a more fair fight for better living conditions. Understanding poverty takes a more comprehensive approach than just labeling the poor as those who are deprived of food or a roof over their heads.

Poverty in the World

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the U.N. in 1948, the five families of human rights are:

  1. Civil
  2. Political
  3. Cultural
  4. Economic
  5. Social

The UNESCO report on Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right states that poverty infringes social rights because it deprives citizens of meeting their basic needs such as education, healthcare, housing and proper nutrition.

The fight to abolish poverty in the world does not solemnly belong to those who suffer it but also to citizens of all nations. The people who live in poor nations deserve the same living standards enjoyed by those in developed nations. Governments also have a crucial role in defending the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves.

“Were such justice to exist, there would no longer be a single human being dying of hunger or of diseases that are curable for some but not for others. Were such justice to exist, life would no longer be, for half of humanity, the dreadful sentence it has hitherto been,” reflects Nobel Laureate, Jose Saramago.

Unequal Wealth Distribution

Fighting poverty also means understanding the concept of inequality and its consequences for the global economy. Poverty is inherently connected to wealth distribution in nations.

The report on Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right also stated in 2010 that about 1.2 percent of the world income is distributed to a surprising number of 3 billion receivers, while an astonishing 1 percent of rich countries’ citizens receive 80 percent of the same income.

UNESCO World Social Science report listed one of the factors that influence the distribution of income: the concentration of wealth in the hands of business owners is unfairly higher compared to the laborers’ pay. Also, wages are not increased to meet the economic demands of inflation and the high cost of living in underdeveloped countries.

North Africa and the Middle East have an astounding 29 million children living in poverty as stated in a UNICEF analysis. They are deprived of basic human rights mentioned earlier, such as education, proper nutrition and healthcare. These children live in impoverished conditions with no potable water and lack of vaccination. They also support their families to earn the income that further keeps them from attending school.   

They could be trapped in a three-generation poverty cycle if leaders don’t give their families opportunities to increase their income.

Poverty and Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition is another key factor that directly affects education in the Middle East and North Africa. Underdeveloped children have a higher risk of performing poorly in school just because they didn’t get the necessary nutrients that play a key role in brain development. 

Children in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Iraq and Syria are extremely affected by the lack of nutrition and one in four of them will be physically and cognitively impacted by a poor diet.

There is also a relevant connection between the quality of a nation’s workforce and children’s nutrition. When children get a well-balanced diet, they develop stronger cognitive skills. These skills will help them assimilate the knowledge gained through education. The Middle East and North Africa countries need these future professionals to stabilize the economy.

How Nonprofit Organizations Alleviate Poverty

Global leaders have a responsibility to provide children with adequate living standards to meet the fundamental human rights.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states, “We must break down the walls of poverty and exclusion that plague so many people in every region of the world. We must build inclusive societies that promote participation by all. We must ensure the voices of all those living in poverty are heard.”

Getting involved in the fight for poverty is within anyone’s reach. Nonprofit organizations can make influential connections between the needy and the people who can make a difference. Poverty can only be eradicated if the ones affected by it have a voice.  

Nonprofit organizations can educate people about how poverty affects poor nations. They work in liaison with agents of change such as UNESCO, providing them with a closer look at poverty-stricken communities. 

A nonprofit organization called Potters for Peace helps communities in Central America by giving them the tools to get easy access to filtered water and thereby reducing waterborne diseases. They train poor communities on how to make low-cost ceramic water filters that purify 1.5 to 2.5 liters per hour. It has also helped 37 factories in 25 countries around the world via filtering technique innovations.

Projects like this can only continue with the help of supporters from around the world. Reducing the effects of poverty in the world is everyone’s responsibility. The fight to stop the vicious cycle of poverty belongs to citizens of the globe.

– Nijessia Cerqueira
Photo: Flickr

global education
As the world becomes more tightly connected, the opportunity and demand for education increase.

The sixth annual Global Education Conference explores the concept of redefining education. Over a period of four days, from Nov. 16 to 19, the conference promoted both classroom and “real world” education to provide participants with a well-rounded and highly informative experience.

The annual online event connects classrooms, raises awareness of cultural diversity and supports educational access for all. Anyone with internet access can learn more about upcoming changes in education, as well as promote their own ideas.

Though the Global Education Conference isn’t a conventional method of online learning, it offers many of the same benefits. Participants learn from speakers and instructors of many different countries and backgrounds and receive a much broader perspective on the topics.

Technology allows questions to be answered immediately and for multiple discussions to take place at once. The nonstop sessions make sure everyone, no matter how busy, can attend at least one seminar a day and choose the topic that best meets their interests.

The conference presented two topics in particular that could prove beneficial to the war on global poverty: learning more about refugees and understanding the relationship between poverty and education.

Because half of the Syrian refugees are children and many are in refugee camps instead of schools, the Global Education Conference dedicated a session to The Refugee Story Circle, a student-run project founded by Qatar Foundation International.

Resettled refugees had the opportunity to tell their personal experiences in a respected and dignified environment. The audience was then able to connect first-hand with the refugees through online discussions and letters of encouragement.

Richard Close, CEO of Chrysalis Campaign, Inc., explained the viewpoint of poverty and education. “Students who are given resources and encouragement realize over time that they have a bright future. Children who live in poverty learn early on to think, ‘What future?’ Consequently, they don’t develop the skills and self-motivation needed to succeed.”

Mary Brownell, a member of iEARN-USA, explained the nonprofit network’s partnership with Kids Can Make a Difference to encourage teachers to discuss hunger, inequality and poverty with their students.

“The goal is to imprint upon students what the effects really are on our world,” Brownell said.

Furthermore, impoverished students will feel like their needs are being addressed. Those who can’t attend schools will, hopefully, receive more attention and assistance.

Sarah Prellwitz

Sources: Elluminate, EdSurge, Franklin University, Global Education Conference 1, Global Education Conference 2, iEARN
Photo: Europa Education

ending_extreme_poverty

By the end of the year, the Millennial generation is projected to outgrow the Baby Boomer generation in the U.S., being predicted to grow to 75.3 million. Their large numbers will become crucial to helping end extreme poverty by 2030.

Since 1980, the world has made the unprecedented progress regarding extreme poverty–cutting extreme poverty in half from 43 percent in 1990 to fewer than 20 percent today.

Even with this upward progression, over 1 billion people worldwide suffer from extreme poverty, living on less than $1.25 per day. To make steps toward ending extreme poverty by 2030, 188 countries agreed to the UN’s goals at the World Bank Meetings in 2013.

If Millennials around the world connect themselves through social media and other events, this goal will become possible. As the first generation to have full access to technology at a young age, Millennials can spark a conversation and voice their concerns via social media.

While social media is beneficial in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty, events and festivals are taking place around the country to get the generation involved in the project.

On April 10, 2014, Global Citizen partnered with the World Bank Youth Network to host End Poverty 2030: Millennials take on the challenge in Washington, D.C. The event focused on the important role Millennials play in the fight to stop extreme poverty, even featuring a short film created by award-winning film writer and director Richard Curtis.

Over 1,000 people, including Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, attended the event while thousands more watched the event online. During the event, Ki-moon had a few encouraging words for the generation.

“I know that your generation can break this vicious cycle of extreme poverty, and I count on your strong engagement,” Ki-moon said.

More awareness for extreme poverty can be found at the Global Citizens Festival on Sept. 26 in Central Park. The music festival will include superstars Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, with more to be announced on the festival’s website.

This year in order to buy a ticket, potential buyers are encouraged to complete the Eight Global Steps before entering their name into a raffle system. Some of these steps include tweeting the UN’s Global Goals or signing a petition to bring awareness to the Global Food Security Act.

Since the festival’s inception in 2011, $1.3 billion has been raised to support extreme poverty.

As festivals and events continue to be organized and geared towards Millennials, there is hope to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Alexandra Korman

Sources: Forbes, Global Citizen, Pew Research
Photo: Huffington Post

Why We Need More Activists
When the world’s problems seem too big, too complicated and too terrifying to even try and solve, the words of Margret Meade always seem to provide much-needed perspective, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Activism, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the use of direct and noticeable action to achieve a result, usually a political or social one.” By this definition, an activist is someone who does an action on behalf of a cause.

The traditional method of activism usually involved a picket and a protest. However, with the introduction of the Internet and the expanding access to information and connectivity, activism has begun presenting itself in diverse, and arguably more effective, ways.

Activism has played a role in ending slavery, protecting civil rights, promoting equality for women and many other issues, but as the way activism works begins to change, the need for activists grows.

Before globalization and the hyper interconnectivity of our world through trade and online access, problems were handled generally at a local level. Communities pushed against government policies they disagreed with or pushed for social change they deemed fit.

As issues expand to a global level, so must activism. But unlike the past, those most affected by certain life debilitating issues do not have the access needed to have their voices heard.

activistsNearly half of the world’s population — a staggering 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

While the international poverty line has been drawn at living on a $1.25 or less a day, which more than 1.3 billion people do, it is important to acknowledge that a significant portion of the people living on earth today is barely getting by. Poverty is especially rampant in undeveloped nations.

So in addition to dealing with economic insecurity, citizens of poor countries have few avenues for social, political or economic change. They cannot simply sign a petition for their government to implement better social programs.

Many of them live in rural communities far removed from their governments, and most of the governments in developing countries are unable or unwilling to help their citizens break the bonds of poverty.

This is why we need more activists. Half of our world is essentially voiceless. They cannot adequately act on behalf of their own cause, but that does not mean they should not be heard. If the portion of our population, who has enough, did enough, then couldn’t we all have enough?

We need to use activism to scream that global poverty must be eradicated.

There is what seems like endless ways to become a voice for someone who needs to have their needs heard.

Join organizations who have made it their mission to address global poverty in one way or another, volunteer at their events, rally your friends to become involved, contact your local and federal governing representatives to encourage them to join the fight.

It does not matter how you choose to be an activist, it only matters that you act.

Brittney Dimond

Sources: Do Something, BMartin, Cambridge Dictionary, One, Permanent Culture Now, Activists Handbook
Photo: Pixabay, Wikipedia

Sustainable Development Goals Build on Millennium Goals
In 2000, the United Nations set out to complete a long list of goals with the ultimate goal of ending global poverty. This year marks the expiration of the so-called Millennium Development Goals, and the advent of the United Nations’s latest set of Sustainable Development Goals.

The United Nations set in motion eight core goals at the start of the new millenia, each with individualized target goals and ideal success rates. These broad goals were:

1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2) Achieve universal primary education
3) Promote gender equality and empower women
4) Reduce child mortality
5) Improve maternal health
6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7) Ensure environmental sustainability
8) Global partnership for development

Some of the specific rates of success targeted under individual goals include: halving the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day and the number of people suffering from hunger, eliminating gender disparity in education, reducing child mortality by two-thirds and stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. These targets were supposed to have been met by 2015.

While great strides have been made in the last decade and a half, the United Nations were not 100 percent successful in reaching their goals. With the 2000 set of goals expiring, a new set of updated goals was drafted to continue their focus effort toward ending global poverty.

The Sustainable Development Goals of 2015 build upon the foundation laid by the Millennium Development Goals of 2000 and “seek to complete the unfinished business of the MDGs, and respond to new challenges,” according to the proposal statement from the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

The 2015 set of goals expands and goes beyond the original goals, addressing an updated list of challenges faced by people of developing nations. The new set of goals includes:

1) End poverty in all forms everywhere
2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
3) Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation
7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
10) Reduce inequality within and among countries
11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The new and expanded list retains many of the original target goals of the Millennium Development Goals, including ending global poverty (established as living on less than $1.25 a day), ending global hunger, expanding education and enhancing women’s rights, as well as encouraging a focus on sustainable development options.

As with the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations hopes to meet their Sustainable Development Goals in fifteen years, by the year 2030.

– Gina Lehner

Sources: UN, Sustainable Development
Photo: Daily Development

Aviation
Volunteering to better the world around us can take people many directions, including upward. Using aviation as a means of transporting needed items to desolate locations is a common practice that is often overlooked.

Organizations like World Food Programme, Iris Global and Mission Aviation Fellowship reach out to obscure villages and communities that cannot be reached by vehicles.

World Food Programme (WFP) works mainly with large amounts of food and medical cargo to provide for the thousands of people living in these remote places. Areas that have suffered from natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes or from wars are a focus for WFP.

WFP lands in areas and performs air drops in others where availability to land is too limited. With more than 50 chartered aircrafts in their fleet, some of which are helicopters, WFP is the leader of humanitarian airlines. Their resources and efforts allow them to currently operate 14 separate missions that reach over 250 regular destinations in 20 countries.

WFP’s airline aid system “carried more than 240,800 humanitarian passengers in 2014,” which significantly expanded the impact the organization made in the lives of people.

Between landing operations, airlifts and airdrops, WFP had 242,182 passengers, 40,915 metric tons of cargo, 36,831 metric tons of food and reached exactly 258 different locations in 2014 alone.

Organizations like Iris Global and Mission Aviation Fellowship work to provide cargo and food to villages much like WFP while also being heavily involved with ministry work. Iris Global uses their passion to “aim beyond what we imagine doing in our own strength.”

Iris Global has not limited their impact to only aviation aid missions. Their work extends to building schools, homes and centers for people living in areas Iris Global focus’ on. The list of countries is continuing to grow but has currently reached 14 developing countries.

By pairing aviation missions and ground work, Iris Global is able to supply communities in places such as Madagascar and Leone with the resources needed and the personal aid required to perform medical attention and educational lessons.

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is also a faith based organization but is much more centered on supplying food to isolated places around the world. The use of Cessna and KODIAK aircrafts allow their highly trained pilots to land in short, rugged terrain that prevents other forms of travel to reach them. MAF flies in doctors and medical supplies, teachers and educational material, evangelists and Bibles, disaster relief aid, food supplies and much more.

MAF pilots fly over a combined 2 million nautical miles each year among the 52 aircrafts the organizations has in six countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America. Such astonishing numbers of aircrafts for the organization helps to reach more families in more villages that are in need of supplies.

All efforts combined, MAF serves people in 14 countries. Along with their sister organization, Mission Aviation Fellowship International, they reach 33 countries around the globe.

The efforts of these three organizations and others like them are helping people in isolated parts of the world to live healthier, fuller lives. Aviation global aid missions erase all limits geography places on us and permits us to travel farther for the sake of others.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Mission Aviation Fellowship, World Food Programme, Iris Global
Photo: Flickr

Global Financing Conference Looks to End Poverty - TBP

On July 15, leaders from all over the world will gather at a global financing conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to discuss major reforms and policies to make a legitimate dent in the issue of global poverty. This meeting marks the first of three summits in 2015 that aim to lock down funding for poverty programs worldwide. World Bank leader Jim Yong Kim summarized the magnitude of the summit by saying, “If we seize this moment we can accomplish the greatest achievement in human history.” The success of this and subsequent summits may finally put humanity on the correct path for eliminating poverty.

A topic of discussion at this summit will be on how to expand on the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight target goals set in 2000 to combat poverty. These goals were set to expire after fifteen years, when a new summit would meet to establish new goals moving forward. The upcoming summit in Addis Ababa will spend time creating what will be known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs will be designed to reflect the changes in the global economy that have occurred since the initial MDGs were created. An excerpt from the World Bank’s website says, “The global development landscape has changed since the MDGs were adopted in 2000. Middle-income countries now account for a much larger share of global GDP. At the same time, inequality within many countries is on the rise and the gap between the rich and the poor is growing.” World leaders will assess a variety of new data to develop effective plans to reduce future poverty.

In order to make the eradication of poverty a reality, nations participating in this summit are preparing to raise the amount of money contributed to fighting poverty from billions to trillions of dollars. The funds necessary to achieving this goal will come “from private investment and domestic tax revenues. Foreign aid is already dwarfed by private financial flows, but it is still a precious resource, important because it reaches people and challenges that private finance alone cannot,” as reported by The Guardian.

This summit may be key in setting the stage for an entirely new era in our planet. The results of this summit and the ones that follow might be the pivotal step for stepping out of the overbearing shadow of poverty and into a bright future for generations to come.

– Diego Catala

Sources: The Guardian, World Bank
Photo: UN

Poverty-in-Britain

Poverty in Britain is quickly being removed from the country’s list of social reforms. Instead of new policies or legal changes sweeping the United Kingdom, poverty is being struck from Great Britain’s dictionary and being substituted with a much more stern response from the government. The very definition of “poverty” in Britain has become the focal point in this new era of British government.

An article published on July 2, by Britain’s flagship newspaper The Guardian, highlighted this new outlook by British Prime Minister, David Cameron. An excerpt from the article reads, “As an issue, poverty is to vanish, no longer a target or a word in the Conservative lexicon. Other things will be targeted instead – worklessness, family breakdown, addictions, debt and educational success. In doublespeak, the very meaning of the word poverty disappears when to be poor no longer means to lack money. To be poor will from now on mean to fail, to be poor apologies for human beings, people in error, in need of correction not cash.” Essentially, those in poverty are there because of a lack of work ethic to rise above the country’s poverty line.

The shift in attitude stems from the British government’s decision to focus primarily on attacking low national income to combat widespread poverty. While initially seen as a government abandoning a particular demographic, British officials maintain that this new direction will benefit the country the most in the foreseeable future.

An article by the Belfast Telegraph reported on the new approach to Britain’s economic issues. The article says, “the plan is to replace Labour’s Child Poverty Act, which established a duty for governments to eradicate the problem by 2020, with new legislation that will instead require ministers to report regularly on measures affecting a child’s life chances.” This reform aims to analyze data more carefully and make changes based on external factors affecting child poverty in Britain.

By making it a priority to target things such as unemployment, drug use and family breakdown, Britain’s government can effectively coordinate an appropriate response to nationwide poverty.

– Diego Alejandro Catala

Sources: The Guardian, Belfast Telegraph
Photo: The Independent