Notable figures throughout history are oftentimes known for their eloquence. This ability is especially important when it comes to mobilizing others around important issues, such as poverty. Below are nine quotes from notable figures about poverty.
9 Quotes From Notable Figures About Poverty
- “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” -Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela was a philanthropist and social rights activist. Additionally, he was also the former President of South Africa and a spokesman for ending poverty. In 2005, he made a speech at the Make Poverty History rally in London, speaking to a crowd of 22,000 people on the subject.
- “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” -Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor around the world. In addition, she received a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in overcoming poverty and distress.
- “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” -Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi traveled around the world and observed the living conditions and causes of poverty. He began his activism in South Africa and later became the leading notable figure in India. Gandhi faced imprisonment several times for undertaking hunger strikes and protesting the oppression of India’s poorest classes.
- “Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society…” -Muhammad Yunus.
Muhammad Yunus is a professor from Bangladesh who dedicated his life to becoming actively involved in poverty reduction in Bangladesh after observing the famine of 1974. Then, he went on to develop a number of companies to address the diverse issues of poverty, including a method of banking that provided small loans to the poor to assist them with getting out of poverty.
- “Poverty is not a fate, it is a condition; It is not a misfortune, it is an injustice.”-Gustavo Gutierrez.
Gustavo Gutierrez was a theologian and priest whose beliefs were that it was the Christian duty to aid the poor and the oppressed. Further, Gutierrez dedicated his life to advocating for the poor in Latin America.
- “Poverty devastates families, communities and nations. It causes instability and political unrest and fuels conflict.” -Kofi Annan.
Kofi Annan believed in combating poverty, promoting equality and fighting for human rights. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Annan’s greatest achievement includes the launching of the U.N. Millenium Development Goals which cut extreme poverty in half.
- “The issue of poverty is not a statistical issue. It is a human issue.” – James Wolfensohn.
As the ninth President of the World Bank Group, James Wolfensohn focused on fighting global poverty and helping the poor forge better lives. His belief was that the Bank should serve the people of the world, particularly the poorest of the poor.
- “Poverty is a scourge that must be overcome, and this can only be accomplished through concerted international efforts involving effective partnerships between developed and developing countries and between government, the private sector and civil society.” -Dr. Han Seung-Soo.
Dr. Han Seung-Soo was the Prime Minister of South Korea and is now the President of the United Nations General Assembly’s 56th session. Further, Seung-Soo dedicated his presidency to emphasizing the consideration of ways to bring Africa into the mainstream through poverty eradication and the generation of sustainable development.
- “It is our moral failure that we still tolerate poverty.” -Ela Bhatt.
Ela Bhatt, the founder of the Self Employed Women’s Association, believes poverty is a form of violence. She has been an advocate for the poor, particularly women, in her native country of India.
– Na’Keevia Brown