When I was growing up in the US in the 1960s I kept hearing politicians promising to end poverty in the US. In fact, during the presidential campaign of 1928, a circular published by the Republican Party claimed that if Herbert Hoover won there would be “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.“ America was going to lead the rest of the world out of the horrors of poverty because our system “was the best in the world.”
Now I hear these politicians cry out that 47% of Americans are takers and deserve to rot in poverty. They say that those in poverty are only there because that’s what they want. They say that there are “good Americans” and “bad Americans.” This is the obvious sign of a nation that is spiraling downward with the rats grabbing everything they can before jumping ship. And now, we have a president that will make sure this comes to pass.
Yet, extreme world poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.90 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount, plus many people risk slipping back into poverty.
Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
The stats don’t lie:
767 million people live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day
In 2016, almost 10 per cent of the world’s workers live with their families on less than $1.90 per person per day
The overwhelming majority of people living below the poverty line belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries
One in four children under age five in the world has inadequate height for his or her age
Every day in 2014, 42,000 people had to abandon their homes to seek protection due to conflict