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17 October: sharing to eradicate every trace of poverty

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

In 1992, UN established the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, creating the opportunity to educate people and encourage political institution to face this global problem.

During the last thirty years, wars, famines and last but not least, this pandemic crisis have put a strain on this challenge, exacerbating the economical gap between rich and poor people, as the World Inequality Report already pointed out in 2018. Forbes' analysis focuses precisely on this gap, presenting this year as an unprecedented moment of concentration of wealth, the emergence of a billionaire every 17 hours. If the news of 500 new billionaires during 2020 might be shocking at first, one can’t help but questioning the causes and consequences of such increase of the economical gap.

A multidimensional phenomenon

A crucial key to the understanding of this process is provided by the United Nations Regional Information Centre, that recognizes various factors as the cause of the increase of wealth and economic gap. Among these factors we find the blocking of the salaries and the diminution in the share of work income, the progressive lowering of the welfare state in developed countries and the inefficient Social Security in developing ones. It’s clear to see that talking about poverty means not only considering the economic condition of one single person, but also taking into account every deprivation that doesn’t allow the individual to exercise his own rights and keeps him in a constant state of need.

Still far from reaching the goal of 2030

The aim of the 2030 Agenda is surely among the most ambitious ones, and its pathwhich started in the early 2000s with the United Nations Millennium Declarationis still long. The statement of António Guterres makes clear that we are "tremendously off track" and far from reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Food Systems Summit held on 23 September could be considered a turning point. It was able to gather the commitment of the heads of state and government to move the agenda forward, as well as the energy of thousands of young people, food producers, researchers and UN agencies.

The risk of a vicious circle

Eradicating poverty therefore involves implementing a series of national and international interventions by investing in adequate social protection systems, services and job places. The increase in agricultural productivity is another crucial point in order to guarantee food security, understood as the availability of adequate food supplies worldwide. However, as Guterres clearly points out, it constitutes a double-edged sword in the fight against climate change. Our food system generates one third of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and therefore its management itself represents an obstacle which must be overcome in order not to trigger a vicious circle.

Finally, the Council of Europe's support for the elimination of all forms of poverty including different access to the education, health and judicial systems, is emblematic. Strengthen social inclusion and at the same time fight exclusion are key elements to prevent the emergence of new conflicts and the increase in violence.

Eradicating poverty is therefore an internally complex process, but being aware of such complexity is the foundation of the process itself: reading, being informed and sharing represent the starting point for the maturation of ideas and solutions. If we are still a long way from achieving the 2030 Goal today, then our duty is to get a step closer tomorrow.


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