International day for the eradication of poverty

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on the 17th of October. Its main aim is to raise awareness about people living in poverty. According to the United Nations’ website, this day is a chance to acknowledge the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty. It is a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize the fact that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. The day also reflects the willingness of those living in poverty to utilize their expertise to contribute towards its eradication. All this information is according to the UN website.

History of International Day for Eradication of Poverty

The observance of this day goes back to 1987. In 1987, more than 1,00,000 people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris to honor some victims. These were victims of extreme poverty, violence, and hunger. It happened at the unveiling of a memorial stone by a French priest and humanitarian activist Joseph Wresinski. These people proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights. These people also affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.

Four years after Wresinski’s death in 1988, the general assembly declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This happened through a resolution adopted on 22 December 1992. All the states were invited to present and promote activities regarding the eradication of poverty and destitution.

The theme for International Day for Eradication of Poverty

This year’s theme is “Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.” The official website of the United Nations (UN) states that the people living in poverty experience many interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations. These may prevent them from realizing their rights and perpetuate their poverty. It includes dangerous work conditions, unsafe housing, lack of nutritious food, unequal access to justice, lack of political power, and limited access to health care.

Covid-19 pandemic and poverty

According to the World Bank, the coronavirus pandemic struck the world in 2020. It pushed between 88 and 115 million people into poverty “with the majority of the new extreme poor being found in South Asian and Sub-Saharan countries where poverty rates are already high.” And this year, that is, in 2021 the number might have increased to 143 and 163 million.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Friday that at present, extreme poverty is on the rise. He added that the pandemic wreaked havoc on economies and societies across the globe. “A lopsided recovery is further deepening inequalities between the Global North and South,” Guterres said.

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