poverty relief reduces disease
The universal rise in global living standards has helped combat diseases, spurred on by international poverty relief efforts. In fact, one study found that reducing poverty was just as effective as medicine in reducing tuberculosis. Poor health drains an individual’s ability to provide for themselves and others, trapping and perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Better public health increases workforce productivity, educational attainment and societal stability. Here are 5 ways poverty relief reduces disease.

5 Ways Poverty Relief Reduces Disease

  1. Better Sanitation: According to the WHO, approximately 827,000 people die each year due to “inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.” Poor sanitation is linked to the spread of crippling and lethal diseases such as cholera and polio, which hamper a nation’s development. By investing in the sanitation of developing nations, the rate of disease decreases and the food supply improves. Furthermore, an all around healthier society emerges that can contribute more to the global economy. In fact, a 2012 WHO study found that “for every U.S. $1.00 invested in sanitation, there was a return of U.S. $5.50 in lower health costs, more productivity, and fewer premature deaths.”
  2. Improved Health Care Industries: A hallmark of any developed nation is the quality of its health care industry. A key part of reducing poverty and improving health, is investing in health care initiatives in developing countries. When the health care industry is lacking (or even non-existent), the population experiences high levels of disease, poverty and death. Many American companies have already invested millions into the medical sectors of developing nations, however. In September 2015, General Electric Healthcare created the Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, a business unit that donates millions in money and medical equipment to developing nations.
  3. More Informative Education: Knowledge is power when it comes to fighting disease. Educational institutions provide a nation with one of the best tools to fight diseases of all kinds. According to a WHO report, “education emphasizing health prevention and informed self-help is among the most effective ways of empowering the poor to take charge of their own lives.” Schools must teach about proper sanitation, how to spot warning signs and form healthy behaviors. School health programs are also an invaluable resource in times of pandemics and disease outbreaks, as they coordinate with governments. This cooperation has helped tackle diseases, including HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Eritrea, for example, has one of the lowest rates of infection in the region (less than 1%), partially due to an increase in HIV/AIDS education measures.
  4. Enhanced Nutrition: Malnutrition and food insecurity weaken the immune systems of the impoverished and significantly lower one’s quality of life. Millions of children each year die from famine or end up crippled due to dietary deficiencies. By investing in and supporting agricultural sectors of developing nations, aid programs help in not only decreasing poverty, but also in cutting down on illness of all kinds. Likewise, international aid during conflicts and natural disasters is crucial to ensuring the continued health and productivity of a country. One nation combating such an issue is Tanzania. With the help of aid organizations like UNICEF, Tanzania has decreased malnutrition for children under five.
  5. More Effective Government Services: Arguably encompassing all the previous categories, governments with more money and resources can effectively help stop diseases. A healthy general population leads to more productivity, which increases tax revenue. Central governments can then invest that money back into health care and sanitation, creating a positive feedback loop. Governments also provide a centralized authority that can cooperate with organizations like the WHO. In the 21st century, communication and cooperation between world governments is key to halting pandemics and working on cures.

Impact on COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of how improved government resources provide poverty relief, which helps combat the virus in the developing world. Kenya is a good example of how developing nations can help contain and combat the virus with effective government actions. The systems and governmental services built up over past decades sprang into action and coordinated with organizations like the WHO. The government has also implemented various economic measures to help mitigate the negative economic side-effects. Moving forward, it is essential that governments and humanitarian organizations continue to take into account the importance of poverty relief for disease reduction.

– Malcolm Schulz 
Photo: Flickr

Peace in Africa
Political unrest, ethnic tensions and legacies of colonial exploitation beget chaos and violence in many parts of Africa. Wars, border disputes and ethnic violence cause destruction, divide families and disrupt economies, consequences which create and perpetuate poverty. Fortunately, some nonprofits are partnering with local communities, leaders and intellectuals to work toward conflict resolution, and ultimately, peace in Africa.


The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a nonprofit civil society organization and think tank that specializes in conflict management, analysis and prevention. Vasu Gounden, who believes that innovative solutions to conflict in Africa must come from the minds of African citizens, established it in 1992 in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD works closely with international organizations like the U.N. and the African Union (AU) to facilitate negotiations, train mediators and encourage healthy relationships among African leaders. The organization also conducts extensive research through analysis and experience-sharing events and Pennsylvania University’s prestigious ranking process has ranked it as one of the top 100 think tanks worldwide.

Strategies for Peace

ACCORD’s six pillars for peace illustrate the organization’s strategy for establishing peace in Africa through activism and dialogue. ACCORD recognizes the importance of listening to key stakeholders like women and youth, who peace processes often underrepresent, by working to elevate their roles in mediation and post-conflict reconstruction. The organization also works with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to develop peacebuilding strategies like mediation training, dialogue frameworks and reconciliation strategies. The regional dimensions of most security challenges in Africa (border disputes, multinational ethnic group tensions, ideological extremism and cross-border displacement) put RECs in a unique position to prevent and troubleshoot conflicts. This relationship is at the forefront of ACCORD’s strategy; the first pillar for peace is “to reinforce the institutional capacity of the AU and RECs to prevent and peacefully resolve conflicts.”

Troubleshooting, Brainstorming and Problem Solving

ACCORD regularly organizes and hosts high-level retreats and roundtable events with the AU, U.N., RECs and civil society organizations (CSOs) to address such issues as civil wars, sexual and gender-based violence and socio-economic impediments to peace and development. These roundtables build networks linking African peace workers and mediators across the continent. Scholars agree that CSOs link social, geographic and economic groups in society and play a critical role in providing domestic oversight and upholding institutions. ACCORD’s retreats and workshops, like its Lessons Learned from Inclusive National Peacebuilding Processes workshop, connect CSOs in order to foment peace in Africa. Discussions at roundtable events troubleshoot peacekeeping mechanisms like early warning systems (which analyze and predict conflict) and encourage peer-to-peer collaboration on women’s rights, mediation strategy, education, economic development and other issues.

ACCORD has also been working to combat the sexual violence that often accompanies conflict. In February 2019, the organization participated in a Training of Trainers course to inform African peacekeeping institutions about how to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations. In light of a recent scandal wherein, more than 43 U.N. peacekeepers received accusations of sexual exploitation or abuse, training like this is crucial in preventing future incidences of sexual violence.

Training and Mediating

ACCORD has intervened in 34 countries across Africa, employing peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies to mediate and contain conflict, developing capacities for peace. The organization has been running a peace program in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, since 1995. Throughout the Burundi civil war, ACCORD trained community leaders, civil society, political actors and other key stakeholders in conflict prevention, management and transformation.

Additionally, ACCORD has launched a peace initiative in the Central African Republic (CAR), and in November 2018, hosted a dialogue for members of the CAR’s negotiating team. Themes during the dialogue included negotiation techniques, classical and nonverbal communication, the concept of strategic compromise and ways of dealing with armed groups.

Peace and Poverty Relief

Conflict monitoring, analysis, prevention and resolution are integral in establishing foundations for peace in Africa. Many recognize the connection between conflict and poverty, and how it can be detrimental to communities. Only when conflict-ridden communities establish peace, economic prosperity and collective well-being can become reality. ACCORD works with community leaders, civil society organizations, individuals and other stakeholders across Africa to establish foundations for peace and conflict management.

– Nicollet Laframboise
Photo: Flickr

The Pele Foundation and the Empowerment of the Disenfranchised Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known widely by the moniker Pelé, is arguably the most popular Brazilian football player and had led his team to trebled triumph in the World Cup. But Pelé doesn’t have a one-track mind: he has one leg in the sports pool and the other leg in the social activism pool.

Previously, Pelé worked with FIFA as an ambassador against racism as well as with UNICEF to advocate children’s rights. He has moved on to inaugurating his own organization called The Pelé Foundation to empower impoverished, disenfranchised children around the world.

The Pelé Foundation

When first announcing the launch of his foundation Pelé said, “In 2018, I am launching The Pelé Foundation, a new charitable endeavor that will benefit organizations around the world and their dedicated efforts to empower children, specifically around poverty and education.”

Having grown up poor, Pelé developed an affinity for charity work. In the past, he had supported a multitude of different organizations including 46664, ABC Trust, FC Harlem, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Prince’s Rainforests Project and The Littlest Lamb.

In the future, Pelé’s organization plans to expand and cover issues such as gender equality and will eventually birth offshoot programs, not unlike other organizations of its nature.

Partner Organizations

Pelé isn’t alone in this endeavor. During the initial announcement, Pelé blazoned that he would be partnering with both charity:water and Pencils of Promise to fulfill his goals.

Founded in October 2008, Pencils of Promise (PoP) is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the state of education for children in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ghana and Laos. Besides improving the quality of education, PoP also constructs schools and educational facilities, trains faculty, champions scholarships and supports sanitary programs. Backed by big names such as Justin Bieber and Scooter Braun, PoP is a big name itself in the humanitarian space.

Established in 2006 and having funded 24,537 different projects, charity:water is spearheaded by Scott Harrison. charity: water gives all donations to projects working to end the current water crises. Harrison said, “We’re excited to partner with The Pelé Foundation to bring clean water to thousands of people in the years to come. Having access to clean water not only saves hours of wasted time, but it also provides safety, health and hygiene. It directly impacts the future of children, and we believe it’s the first step out of poverty for rural communities all over the world.”

– Jordan De La Fuente
Photo: Flickr


Humanitarian Aid to UgandaUganda is hosting over 1 million refugees. Thanks to its progressive solutions and open policies, the country, located in East Africa, has welcomed people from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. In 2017, the refugee population dramatically changed: close to 900,000 South Sudanese fled to Uganda seeking peace. This year, Uganda became host to the largest refugee camp in the world. Bidi Bidi is home to 270,000 refugees and is expected to get even more arrivals in December 2017. For that reason, humanitarian aid to Uganda has become essential to assuring that refugees’ needs are met. This includes shelter, healthcare and education.

Women and Children

Around 86 percent of the 900,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children. The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has provided different projects helping these groups. In 2016, 264,300 South Sudanese women received core-relief items, shelter kits and sanitary kits.

In addition, the international organization imparted help with Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) issues. The UNHCR aided 767 South Sudanese SGBV survivors to access psychosocial counseling.

Increasing Access to Education

Classes are difficult to hold in refugee camps, as most of the time there are not enough facilities and teachers. In Bidi Bidi, there are 5,000 students and only 38 teachers. Despite that, 130,600 school-age refugee children were enrolled in primary education. By the end of 2017, it is expected that 176,171 children will be registered.

Other educational efforts are being in Uganda’s Coburwas Primary School. One program ensures that refugee students receive food. Outside of the classroom, students learn how to farm, an activity that brings money to the school.

Health and Humanitarian Aid to Uganda

Humanitarian aid to Uganda has had large success in addressing health issues. It is expected that 100 percent of the people of concern, specifically refugees, will have access to national primary healthcare services in 2017. In addition, health organizations such as the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF), are developing projects in refugee camps. The RMF currently operates 30 health centers in Bidi Bidi.

Economic Improvements

Finally, the UNHCR implemented a project to improve refugees’ economic situation. The organization trained 9,300 refugee business owners in entrepreneurship and all of them received access to credit and financial services.

Humanitarian aid to Uganda is increasing as the refugee population grows. Uganda has one of the most progressive refugee policies in the world, but in order to ensure improved living standards for refugees, there is a need for continued contributions of humanitarian aid.

– Dario Ledesma

Photo: Flickr

Helping the poor in China has been a large project in the past thirty years, with the Chinese population of poverty decreasing more than 800 million. The decrease in China’s impoverish contributed to eliminating half the population of extremely poor in the world. Nevertheless, according to last year’s data statistics, there are still 70~80 million poor people in China, indicating a 6 percent poverty rate of the overall population, and one-tenth of the rural population. The government of mainland China plans to spend another 5-6 years helping to get rid of the rest of poverty, especially the 40 million who extremely needs financial help.

Ways of Global Aid 

Universal ways of helping the poor in China include increasing opportunities for compulsory education, making donations, releasing farmers from the line of poverty and building up nonprofit projects, such as the Hope Project and the United Nations Development Programme. Several strategies also require public attention to improve the living status of people in poverty.

To begin, it is incredibly important to understand the origin of poverty — the root cause of the poor — rather than just give donations. Money can release the problems of daily life in the short term while teaching proper ways of increasing income and helping improve the morals of the rich can lead to sustainable happiness in the long run. Recruiting helpful volunteers, providing complementary services and helping individuals point-to-point are supplemental ways of helping the poor in China.

Propagation is another effective way to provide help to the poor in China. Due to unexpected misfortunes such as employment loss, family misfortune, or business failure, the public works to survive the temporary difficulties, and then assist the poor in recovery.

Participating in a charitable institute or nonprofit organization and promoting legislation and discussions on hot topics can also help to reduce poverty within labor populations.

Identifying Poverty in China

Since the cutoff line of poverty increases year to year, the natural growth rate of annual income for any involved people does not represent the actual improvements of their living conditions. As a result, conclusions are arbitrarily made towards people under the poverty line. For instance, many reasons may cause the poor to suffer from severe diseases or psychological problems, such as taking drugs or undergoing bad treatment, but these factors may not be considered by the general population tests.

So providing helpful aids requires specific analysis, while solving problems urges practical use. Global support in collaboration with whole-hearted programs that promote self-dignity suggests better treatment and higher efficiency are all methods that will help to save the poor in China.

In large cities or small villages, and despite the quick growth of the economy, poverty can exist in any unnoticed corner. For organizations to help save the poor, they must focus on collaboration with people urgently in need — institutes attempting to help the poor in China (especially in remote, rural areas) are expected to provide resources while the people on duty provide encouragement to the impoverished.

The Chinese government has a five-year plan to eliminate poverty, but this is a relatively short-term goal. They should really focus on alleviating the unbalance of social wealth, improving existing environments and legal rights, and providing opportunities such as healthcare, education, employment insurance, and sufficient welfare to truly aid the poor in the long-term.

– Xin Gao

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to Kosovo

In February 1998, the armed conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) came to a head when Slobodan Milošević, the President of the FRY in the late 90s, responded to KLA guerilla operations with an increased intensity.

Following the FRY’s elimination of Kosovo’s semi-autonomous status, after they gained independence from the Soviet Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the KLA instigated a guerilla movement against the Serbs in the hopes that doing so would call international attention to their plight. Unfortunately, despite a clear degradation of political relations between Serbia and Kosovo, the international community failed to intervene with the speed and authority necessitated by the impending disaster.

Eventually, it became obvious that the time for diplomatic action had passed unheeded. The result was catastrophic. On the heels of an already displaced 400 thousand Kosovar Albanians and an estimated killing of 1,000 civilians by FRY forces, NATO opted to instigate a campaign in Kosovo that was at once, illegal and legitimate. Illegal in the sense of it never being approved by the U.N. and legitimate in that it was the only option available for the prevention of further human rights abuses in Kosovo.

The result of the infamous NATO Air Campaign in Kosovo, lasting between March 24 and June 10, 1999, and effectively ousting Serbian forces from the region, was the abrupt displacement of nearly 1.5 million individuals within Kosovo and into neighboring Albania and Macedonia.

The issue then became how so many innocent civilians were going to survive. The solution is the question of this article: What was the success of humanitarian aid to Kosovo? The answer concerning aid during the immediate crisis is that despite the unprecedented amount of relief aid thrown at the conflict, its implementation was haphazardly managed and ultimately far less effective than it should have been.

Humanitarian aid to Kosovo during and following the NATO Campaign was marred by a lack of collaboration between aid organizations – of which there were over 250 operating in Kosovo and Albania alone. As well as a seeming lack of professionalism among even the most seasoned aid agencies (UNHCR). One report evaluating the failures of their response, sights appointment of inexperienced staff to positions of leadership as one of the many problems that plagued the humanitarian response.

Today, more than 18 years after the beginning of the crisis, Kosovo has yet to rid its borders of the aid organizations that came during the war. The greatest problem facing Kosovars is unemployment which had reached 35 percent in 2016.

One of the ways the issue of unemployment is being addressed is through social enterprises. In Kosovo, these take the form of small businesses established by locals to provide basic necessities to the community. These types of programs are what many aid workers are turning to as they search for alternatives to the continued presence of large aid organizations in Kosovo.

The success of humanitarian aid to Kosovo can, more or less, be regarded as a failure given the continued need for aid nearly 20 years after the end of the war.

– Katarina Schrag

Photo: Flickr


The Marshall Plan
The battles from World War II resulted in some of the worst devastation in history, as military and civilian areas alike were targeted in aerial bombardment, which left millions dead and entire cities reduced to rubble. Devastation and breakdown of social fiber were so prevalent in Europe that the basic building block of civilization — the trade between farmers and urban dwellers offering food for goods and services — began to break down.

George C. Marshall, serving as the newly appointed secretary of state in 1947, outlined a plan to aid Europe with funds for rebuilding key infrastructure and industry. Though it has been criticized for reforming European markets in the style of the U.S. economy, the Marshall Plan undoubtedly helped spur economic recovery in Europe devastated by one of the most destructive wars in history.

The U.S. spent over $13 billion for the economic recovery of Europe between 1948 and 1951. In 2016 dollars the equivalent would be almost $130 billion. By helping to rebuild Europe, the U.S. found a new market for its manufactured goods that helped the country from sliding back into depression following the war. Today, the plan still holds lessons for combating poverty in the 21st Century.

Economic Development is Critical

Any approach to aid that doesn’t take the economic situation into account is doomed to short term success. The Marshall Plan made a point of focusing on rebuilding the economies of Europe including “…promoting industrial and agricultural production with the object of becoming independent of outside assistance…include(ing) projects for increased production of coal, steel, transportation facilities, and food.”

Oversight is Essential

The provisions of the Marshall Plan created a new organization, the Economic Cooperation Administration, consisting of an administrator, a deputy and a staff composed of economists, accountants, lawyers and administrative workers. The Act empowered the administrator to create rules and regulations regarding the distribution of aid based on ground conditions. The administrator was on equal footing with the secretary of state, which the president of the U.S. set as the arbitrator in any disputes between them. Other rules outlined two advisory boards and a special “roving ambassador” to aid the administrator. The plan even established a congressional “watchdog committee” for additional governmental oversight. These clearly defined duties helped to ensure the aid outlined in the plan made it to refugees who needed it most.

Confidence Must Be Restored in Local Economies

The Marshall Plan took measures to restore vital infrastructure and public schooling, which helped to give ordinary citizens the semblance of order necessary to build consumer confidence in their economies. Provisions in the plan also provided for “taking necessary financial and monetary measures to stabilize currency and exchange and balance the governmental budget of the signatory country.” The end goal of the stabilizing effects was to create a favorable environment for American investment in Europe.

Aid Should Be Focused Regionally, Not on Single Countries

Experts believe one of the greatest reasons for the success of the Marshall Plan was that it focused on rehabilitating an entire region as an economic unit rather than singling out specific countries. Aid efforts crossed borders and gave a sense that the continent was in the fight together to return to previous levels of economic development. Under the Marshall Plan, assistance was available to countries in the Western Hemisphere. The agreement tasked the U.S. secretary of state with negotiating the free entry of supplies to countries participating in the plan. The administrator was still able to refuse aid in the interest of national security in case it had become clear supplies were supporting military forces. Under this provision, countries in Eastern Europe falling under the Soviet bloc did not receive aid.

Aid Should Be Coordinated Through the UN

Aid through the Marshall Plan filtered through U.N. organizations for distribution. Also, the rules of the plan required the administrator to send progress reports to the international organization. By coordinating efforts through the U.N., the U.S. increased the legitimacy of its aid programs and allowed some measure of input from U.N. officials.

Marshall himself outlined the reasoning behind the aid in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. In the address he stated, “It is logical that the U.S. should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.”

Will Sweger

Photo: Flickr

 Education in China
A white paper released on Oct. 17 reveals China’s progress in poverty eradication as well as governmental measures taken to improve prosperity. According to this document, the main priority of poverty relief measures was the improvement and expansion of quality education in China between 2011 and 2015.

Over the past three decades, China has lifted more than 700 million citizens from poverty, accounting for 70% of the world’s total across that time. Through this experience, China has gained a wealth of knowledge in crafting and implementing development-oriented poverty relief policies. The white paper confirms that from 2011-2015 such measures placed particular emphasis on education.

The government enacted policies to promote compulsory education in China, bridge the education gap between rural and urban areas, grant living subsidies to students and improve education infrastructure in poor and rural regions. These measures were supported by the government’s investment of 189.84 billion yuan ($28.17 billion), and an additional 14 million yuan earmarked for living quarters for teachers in rural areas. In less-developed central China, the efforts resulted in a 30% increase in children enrolled in kindergarten.

As a supplement to the education measures, the government enacted a nutrition improvement program for students receiving compulsory education. In order to promote sustainable nutrition improvement, the program helped popularize nutritional knowledge among parents and students. In 2015 alone, the government invested 500 million yuan toward nutrition improvement for students and families, benefiting 2.11 million children in 341 Chinese counties.

China’s commitment to and success with poverty reduction demonstrates a commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (U.N. MDG) of eradicating extreme poverty. The U.N. MDG report shows that the proportion of Chinese living in extreme poverty fell from 61% in 1990 to 30%, and again down to 4.2% in 2015.

The Chinese government has made it a top priority to complete poverty eradication by 2020. By addressing needed changes to the education system, the government presents a commitment towards sustainable poverty eradication. Funding education in China will help ensure the prosperity of future generations, and China’s efforts provide a promising model for global poverty reduction.

McKenna Lux

Photo: Flickr

10 Facts about Poverty in Latin America
Within the past decade, 70 million people were able to escape poverty in Latin America due to economic growth and a lessened income gap. However, millions still remain in the cycle of poverty. Presented below is key data about poverty in Latin America.


10 Leading Facts on Poverty in Latin America


  1. One in five Latin Americans lives in chronic poverty conditions. Latin Americans account for 130 million of the nearly 500 million who live in chronic poverty worldwide.
  2. Poverty rates vary from country to country in the Latin American region. With estimated poverty rates floating around 10 percent, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile have the lowest chronic poverty rates. Meanwhile, Nicaragua with 37 percent and Guatemala with 50 percent have the highest chronic poverty rates in Latin America, which are well above the regional average of 21 percent.
  3. Poverty rates can also vary within a country. A single country can have both ends of the spectrum with the highest poverty rate that is eight times higher than the lowest. For example, Brazil has a chronic poverty rate of 5 percent in Santa Catarina, but 40 percent in Ceará.
  4. Poverty in Latin America encompasses both urban and rural areas. Most assume that rural areas have higher poverty rates than urban areas, like in Bolivia, where the amount of people living in rural poverty is 20 percentage points higher than those living in urban poverty. However, the number of the urban poor is higher than the number of rural poor in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
  5. Poor Latin Americans lack access to basic health care services. Approximately 20 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean population lack access to health care due to their poverty conditions. The region also has high rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
  6. Those living in poverty in Latin America lack access to safe water and sanitation. The World Water Council reported that 77 million people lack access to safe water or live without a water source in their homes. Of the 77 million, 51 million live in rural areas and 26 million live in urban areas. An estimated 256 million rely on latrines and septic tanks as an alternative to basic sanitation.
  7. The lack of education in Latin America lowers prospects of rising out of poverty. One in 12 young people ages 15 to 24 have not completed primary school, and therefore lack the skills necessary to find decent jobs. The same age group represents 40 percent of the total number of unemployed in many Latin American countries. When they are employed, six out of 10 jobs are informal, lacking decent wages, contract agreements and social security rights.
  8. Limited economic opportunities keep the poor in poverty. The biggest factor that led to poverty reduction from 2004-2012 was labor income. The Huffington Post reported that in poor households every Latin American country had an average of 20 percent “fewer human resources to generate income” than non-poor households and those households who managed to escape poverty.
  9. Chronic poverty levels are falling. Between 2000 and 2014, the number of Latin Americans living on under $4 a day decreased from 45 percent to 25 percent. The Latin American population living on $2.5 per day fell from 28 percent to 14 percent.
  10. The falling poverty levels in Latin America can be attributed to improved public policy. Latin American governments created conditional cash transfers (CCT), which substituted subsidies for money transfers for the poor who invested in human capital beginning in the late 1990s. As a result, child attendance in schools has risen and families have more food and more diversity in diets.

In 2010, the middle-class population exceeded the low-income population for the first time in the region. However, with one-fifth of the population still in poverty, there is much work to be done.

Ashley Leon

Photo: Flickr

King Scholar Program
The King Scholar Program is a full scholarship gifted to Dartmouth College students who are dedicated to alleviating poverty in their home countries. The program was funded by Dorothy and Robert King, who wanted to, “help address the problem of global poverty by funding exceptional students from developing nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia at Dartmouth.”

Students who receive the King Scholarship have ongoing academic mentorship throughout their career at Dartmouth College and course development that encourages them to focus on leadership and international development.

The King Scholar Program encourages its participants to actively participate in ending global poverty. For example, during the students’ participation in the program, they must return to their homes for one summer to research and report how they would end poverty in their countries. After graduating, the students are encouraged to return to continue their work.

Additionally, during their freshman and sophomore years, King Scholars participate in King Leadership Week, which takes place in Washington, D.C. and New York. During this event, they have the opportunity to meet leaders in international development, gain context for work being done in the field and network for future employment.

There is no special application for the King Scholar Program, but the Dartmouth Admissions Office, “elects students for this special honor who embody the vision of the program, including a commitment to alleviating poverty, a record of academic excellence, and a passion for global issues.” The program’s current members hail from Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda and Burkina Faso and all share a similar passion to making a difference in their countries.

By encouraging young students from developing countries to make a difference in alleviating global poverty, the King Scholar Program is creating influential leaders who are ready to make palpable changes in their home countries. This causes students to have a stronger connection to the work they are doing, and be inspired to make a change. This type of education is one that makes a lasting difference in terms of fighting global poverty.

Julia Arredondo