How to Overcome Poverty

According to The World Bank, more than 767 million people live in poverty. That represents one person out of every 10 living on less than $1.90 per day. Although that number has dropped significantly from almost four out of 10 people in 1990, these figures continue to remain unacceptable.

The effects of poverty can be dire, especially for the 328 million children living in extreme poverty: a lack of food, clean water and medical care can lead to malnutrition and other diseases, a lack of shelter can further impact illnesses and a lack of education and job training often lead to an increase in crime, which exacerbates these issues.

Information on how to overcome poverty comes from a wide variety of sources and offers a vast range of advice, as overcoming poverty is as intricate as poverty itself. However, in researching and learning how to overcome poverty, there are a few core aspects that should remain at the forefront of combating this global issue.

Sense of Community

According to Outreach International, a community can only succeed in alleviating poverty if the people involved are “actively and authentically participating in the efforts to fight poverty.” This refers to not just the leaders, but also the people most affected. Their situations need to be taken into consideration and through open dialogue and simplification they become part of the process of resolving their problems.

Governmental Accountability

The spending of taxpayers’ money should always be visible to citizens. This makes their actions and inactions easier to address and discourages corruption within the bureaucracy. Implementing oversight can be especially beneficial to those whose government might, for example, be spending money on its nuclear weapons development instead of its poverty programs.

Education an Important Part of How to Overcome Poverty

While education provides knowledge and training, which can fortify the economy, poverty is also a mental and psychological condition. Education in impoverished populations provides a way for people to better understand their situation and visualize their way out of poverty. It has the power to bring about an end to other social issues as well such as racism and sexism, both of which are intrinsically connected to poverty.

Job Creation

Extensively planned employment programs started by the government can grow the job market. Oftentimes, industries with a substantial labor force can be given larger aid from the government. Developing companies that offer sustainable and long-term jobs to the community should be given focus.

Prioritizing Human Rights

This might prove to be the hardest due to the inequalities that persist in developing countries. Every person should have access to the necessities of life: food, housing, electricity, healthcare and clean water. Only after these basic amenities have been put in place should governments move on to other projects.

One of the most important aspects of learning how to overcome poverty is understanding that it takes time. The process is not simple and short, especially when trying to achieve a deep transformation. Sustaining collective efforts to address the issues involves individuals having an increased level of consciousness about their own capabilities and situations. It takes time to break the culture of silence.

– Aaron Stein

Photo: Flickr

Rebuilding Afghanistan
Rebuilding Afghanistan has been no small feat for President Ashraf Ghani. His innovative political career started when he returned to Afghanistan in 2002 from the United States after leaving his job at the World Bank. Upon returning in 2002, he served as finance minister after the collapse of the Taliban Government and proved essential in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Ghani took many steps to rebuild Afghanistan between the end of his term as finance minister and the beginning of his presidency in 2014.

He is the co-founder of the Institute for State Effectiveness, a program that addresses the challenge of accountability and governance through refining governments, markets and people. This program greatly improved many countries. The Afghanistan Project was also created, which supported security, governance, economic and civic transitions.

More recently, in his role as president, Ghani instated a new Anti-Corruption Council. As corruption has been identified as one of the greatest threats to efforts to rebuild countries, the new council will make a great difference in the development of Afghanistan.

Ghani has also been a vocal critic of the way international aid money was being wasted in Afghanistan before he became president. This is one of the many problems he sought to fix when he finally became president in 2014 after running and losing in 2009.

Additionally, in 2006 Ghani gave a Ted talk titled “How to Rebuild a Broken State.” The talk was on his theories regarding the necessary steps to rebuild suffering and broken countries; and showcased his extensive knowledge on governments and what it would take to rebuild a country.

Broken and struggling countries who desire to successfully rebuild themselves need leaders like Ghani. Ghani’s expertise and programs have also helped countries internationally. These implemented programs specifically geared toward rebuilding Afghanistan can serve as an example for other leaders in their quest to rebuild their own countries.

Julia Arredondo
Photo: Flickr

USAID Supports The Philippines
Zamboanga City, a city in the Philippines, will be the recipient of a new USAID program started by the United States Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K Thomas, Jr. These three new programs will improve the local government, education system and health service accessibility. The US Embassy Manila’s USAID Mission Director, Gloria D. Steele, will also assist in ensuring the projects’ successes.

Since the main focus of the projects is government accountability and responsibility, the name of the five-year program will be ENGAGE (Enhancing Governance, Accountability and Engagement). Through government improvements, Ambassador Thomas hopes to create a stable society and economy in the Philippines.

Another goal of ENGAGE is to include more citizens in government programs and policy-making. This sense of community empowerment is vital for Filipinos to feel they are being accurately represented and looked out for by politicians.

The other two five-year projects address the Philippines’ education and health issues. The first, Mindanao Youth for Development, will help youth have equal access to education and provide post-school training services. The program will work with the government to increase its ability to offer such services and tools for its young population.

The third project is called Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Mindanao (MindanaoHealth). This program aims to distribute healthcare services to rural and conflict-prone areas of the Philippines, including 19 provinces, 2 cities, and 366 municipalities.

The combined efforts of these three projects will create a better economy and equal society in the Philippines.

– Mary Penn

Source: Zamboanga Today
Photo: Cultural Survival