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Best Poverty Reduction Programs
In the global fight against poverty, there have been countless programs to effectively downsize this issue. Poverty reduction programs are an important part of the fight against poverty and because of this, countries should be able to cooperate and learn from one another. Thankfully, with the help of the U.N., the world has been making progress in terms of cooperating to implement good poverty reduction programs. In no particular order, these are the five countries with some of the best poverty reduction programs.

Five Countries with the Best Poverty Reduction Programs

1. China

For the Middle Kingdom, poverty reduction is a key contributing factor to its rapidly growing economy. China has helped reduce the global rate of poverty by over 70 percent, and according to the $1.90 poverty line, China has lifted a total of 850 million people out of poverty between 1981 and 2013. With this, the percentage of people living under $1.90 in China dropped from 88 percent to less than 2 percent in 32 years. China’s poverty reduction programs have also benefitted people on a global scale by setting up assistance funds for developing countries and providing thousands of opportunities and scholarships for people in developing countries to receive an education in China.

2. Brazil

Brazil has taken great steps in reducing poverty and income inequality. Brazil has implemented programs such as the Bolsa Familia Program (Family Grant Program) and Continuous Cash Benefit. Researchers have said that the Family Grant Program has greatly reduced income disparity and poverty, thanks to its efforts of ensuring that more children go to school. They have also said that beneficiaries of this program are less likely to repeat a school year. Meanwhile, the Continuous Cash Benefit involves an income transfer that targets the elderly and the disabled.

3. Canada

Canada has implemented poverty reduction programs such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the National Housing Strategy. The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly benefit for low-income senior citizens. This program helped nearly 2 million people in 2017 alone. Meanwhile, the National Housing Strategy in an investment plan for affordable housing that intends to help the elderly, people fleeing from domestic violence and Indigenous people. With its poverty reduction programs in place, Canada reportedly hopes to cut poverty in half by 2030.

4. United States

Although the United States has a long way to go when it comes to battling poverty, it does still have its poverty reduction programs that have proven to be effective. According to the Los Angeles Times, programs such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps have all helped to reduce deep poverty. In particular, people consider the Earned Income Tax Credit to be helpful for families that earn roughly 150 percent of the poverty line, approximately $25,100 for a four-person family. Social Security could help reduce poverty among the elderly by 75 percent.

5. Denmark

Denmark has a social welfare system that provides benefits to the unemployed, the disabled and the elderly, among others. People in Denmark are generally in good health and have low infant mortality rates. Denmark also has public access to free education, with most of its adult population being literate.

It should be stressed that none of these countries are completely devoid of poverty, but they do provide some good examples of how governments can go about reducing this issue. With the help of organizations like the USAID, it is clear that this is an issue many take seriously.

Adam Abuelheiga
Photo: Flickr

Poverty_Hope_Well

How does anyone rise out of poverty? Can it really be that simple? Just end poverty.

Most of us know that the problem of global poverty cannot be solved so easily. House Representative Gwen Moore has reintroduced the RISE out of poverty act which was first brought to Congress in February of 2013. The RISE stands for Rewriting to Improve and Secure an Exit out of poverty, and that is exactly what many people struggling against poverty in this world need; a way out.

One of the amendments to the reintroduction of this bill includes extending the TANF act, or Temporary Assistance for Needy families as distributed by the states under federal law. There can no longer be a limit under sixty months for families receiving assistance from the TANF Act. States can also decide to increase eligibility for aid to children until they are twenty-one years old.

Amount of aid determined correct is not allowed to be influenced by any financial assistance given to children for educational purposes (scholarships, lunch plan, tuition discount, etc) . The newly stated focus of the TANF plan is eliminating poverty among children.

Increasing the monetary amount given to families in need, on top of welfare, is one way the bill intends to help lift families with children out of poverty. Mothers trying to work and support and educate young children can cause a struggle especially in low-wage jobs and under-developed neighborhoods.

Part of the bill allows parents to reject job offers that are below minimum wage salaries or hourly rates and still receive assistance. The cost of living has increased and so must the allowances made by the assistance programs. The bill will also provide day care for mothers who have children and are in school, on workfare, or exiting welfare programs in order to accept small-wage jobs.

Congress is recognizing that ending poverty is possible only with their implementation of active policies focused on this very issue.

In a quote from Fox6now.com, Gwen Moore says “I think that he is going to set the tone for the rest of the 113th Congress by saying ‘with you or without you, I’m continuing to be hopeful and optimistic about making this economy work and I’m going to start by doing what I can do.” This quote was in response to President Obama’s sentiments during the State of the Union address that the wealthiest nation on earth should have no workers living in poverty.

Eradicating poverty is not only good for the economy but it is good for the nation as a whole and contributes to the happier, healthier living of everyone across the globe.

Kaitlin Sutherby

Sources: Fox 6 News, Global Women’s Strike, Congress.gov
Photo: Cheri Gregory

extreme_poverty_us
Throughout the world, extreme poverty rates have decreased significantly in the past years. According to the United Nations, “the number of extreme poor has dropped by 650 million in the last three decades.” Economic investment and poverty relief work in developing countries have played a significant part in reducing extreme poverty rates across the globe.

Although the majority of the people living in extreme poverty reside in developing nations, extreme poverty has yet to be eradicated from even the wealthiest of countries in the world. A recent study conducted by sociologists from Harvard and the University of Michigan have determined that extreme poverty in the United States still exists. Nearly 1.65 million households in the United States survive on less than $2 a day. This figure “accounted for 4.3% of all non-elderly households with children” in the United States.

The conditions of an American living in extreme poverty are certainly different than those of people who live in the developing world. Fortunately for the American impoverished, the United States has established a number of programs to assist people living under the poverty line. Food stamps, housing subsidies, and refundable tax credits are available to ensure that a person’s basic needs are met. The United States spent $9.6 billion on funding Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in 2011. This program provides temporary financial assistance to the impoverished, allowing them to pay for daily expenses when they are struggling to earn a sufficient income.

Although extreme poverty is concentrated in developing nations, extreme poverty is truly a global issue. Poverty reaches rich and poor countries alike, and the impoverished need aid no matter where they live. The difference between the impoverished living in a wealthy country and a developing one, however, is that wealthy countries have well-established safety nets for those living below the poverty line. In other parts of the world, this is not the case, making foreign assistance to these areas even more critical to ensure that the impoverished have their most basic human needs fulfilled.

Jordan Kline

Sources: CNN, UNDP, Washington Post
Photo: HandsOn Blog