The best way to reduce poverty in developing countries
Best way to reduce poverty
Best way to reduce poverty. Poverty is a phenomenon where by individuals lack important basic needs. According to poverty literature, most poor countries are found in Africa. Moreover, the poverty in Africa is geographical that is it is located mainly in the rural areas. Now what should we do to reduce poverty in the developing countries.
- Educate children
Education is one of the best solutions to poverty. Globally speaking, even the most basic education – reading, writing and arithmetic – can open doors for children that would otherwise be locked tight. But it’s more than that.
Many experts say that the cycle of poverty simply can’t be broken unless children receive education.
Many experts agree that educating more children – particularly girls – is the solution to poverty the world has been looking for. Yet, even before COVID-19, 617 million youth globally lacked basic math and literacy skills.
Here’s a sense of what can happen in the life of a family in an impoverished region, without education:
• In Armenia, a 12-year-old girl left school to help provide for her family, collecting scrap metal on the streets.
• Without education, she may have few other employment options, and is likely to continue with menial pay into adulthood.
• As uneducated adult, she will likely struggle to provide the necessities of life for her own children – including schooling.
• She is unable to understand information critical to her children’s well-being – a leaflet about child nutrition or COVID precautions, for example.
• She may be injured or killed on the job, or have to migrate in search of work, leaving children with adult responsibilities and unable to attend school.
• Without education, the cycle of poverty continues.
Imagine what might have been different, had this girl been able to stay in school. A better job for higher pay – or even university. She could have given back in her community and provided more effectively for her own children.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision:
• makes education a priority through our child sponsorship and other community development programs;
• offers donors ways to support education in developing countries, by giving meaningful educational gifts through our Gift Catalogue; and
• advocates to have ‘education’ declared a priority in emergency situations of all kinds and works to provide such programs.
- Provide clean water
Ensuring children have access to clean water is one of World Vision’s top solutions to poverty. Safe water close to home can protect children from water-borne diseases, and free them from long, often dangerous treks to fetch water. This gives them more time to be in school, learning.
According to the World Health Organization, one in three people globally can’t access safe drinking water. And without clean water close to home, breaking out of poverty is highly unlikely.
Here’s a sense of what can happen in the life of a family in an impoverished region, without clean water:
• In Mauritania, a girl has only contaminated water to drink.
• Without safe water, she may be sick or even die from water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea.
• Since she is drinking from untreated water sources, lack of sanitation is also a deadly problem. (Globally, at least 1.8 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.)
• The child is exposed to diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.
• She is required to fetch water for the family, perhaps several times a day, covering several kilometres on foot.
• On the way, she’s vulnerable to danger from animals, poisonous insects or snakes, as well as physical and sexual assault.
• As she grows, frequent illnesses and water chores may keep her away from school more often, threatening her education.
• Her dreams can be severely compromised, due to illness and disrupted education.
• Without clean water, the cycle of poverty continues.
Imagine what might have been different, had the child’s family had access to clean, safe water, closer to home. The child may have been free from water-related illnesses. She could have attended school more regularly.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision:
• makes clean water and sanitation a priority in our development and emergency response work around the world;
• offers donors ways to improve access to clean water in developing countries, by giving meaningful clean water gifts through our Gift Catalogue; and
• offers active ways – like our Global 6K – for people in Canada to raise funds for clean water in communities overseas.
- Ensure basic health care
Experts agree that affordable, accessible, basic health care is a critical solution to poverty. According to the World Health Organization, about 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year, due to out-of-pocket spending on health.
To reduce poverty, affordable services should be available when and where families need them. They should include health promotion and prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Here’s a sense of what might happen to a family in an impoverished region, without basic, affordable healthcare:
• In Bolivia, a little boy develops pneumonia from sleeping on the cold ground.
• His painful coughs produce mucus, his diarrhea is constant, his fever spikes to 40.6 C.
• He needs antibiotics and oral rehydration fluids to survive.
• The free hospital is 22 km away, too far for him to walk, even with his mother’s help.
• The mother exhausts her savings for an examination and medicine, from an out-of-pocket clinic closer to home.
• Those savings had been earmarked for seed for the family’s grain crop.
• The boy recovers, but the family can’t plant a crop this season.
• They fall deeper into poverty.
Imagine what might have been different, had there been free health care and medicine closer to home. Or even a trained community health care worker, who might have made a diagnosis and arrangements for transportation to the hospital.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision:
• offers donors ways to help provide health care to children and families in need through our Gift Catalogue;
• advocates with the Government of Canada for programs to protect the health of children under five, by preventing everyday illnesses like pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea; and
• in the era of COVID-19, we’re helping keep children and families safe through information sessions and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks.
- Empower a girl or woman
Societies with greater gender equality enjoy more sustainable development and faster economic growth. Empowered women are role models for girls in their communities. And they are more likely to send their own daughters to school.
Yet around the world, women and girls are often drastically limited in their options and opportunities. Girls and women have all the same human rights as men and boys. When those rights are ignored, overlooked or violated, not only do women and girls suffer. Entire communities get stuck in a cycle of poverty.
According to the United Nations, less than 50 per cent of working-aged women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely budged in the last 25 years. In Northern Africa and Western Asia, women still spend over seven times as much time as men doing unpaid domestic and care work.
With so few options available, perhaps it’s not surprising that globally, a disproportionate number of girls remain out of school, compared with boys. Or that two-thirds of the 750 million adults without basic literacy skills are female.
Many experts say that gender equality programming is critical for any other solutions to poverty to be effective. Here’s a sense of what happens in a family, without it:
• In Argentina, a father becomes injured at work, drastically reducing the family income.
• His wife earns very little, sewing in a garment factory.
• She dreams of starting her tailoring business but can’t afford a sewing machine.
• The parents can no longer afford school fees for their five children.
• Their two daughters leave school to work alongside their mother in the factory, joining the estimated 160 million child labourers worldwide.
• The father recovers and returns to work, but the family is behind in rent; they can’t justify sending the girls back to school.
• The two daughters continue with what may become a lifetime of menial, poorly paid labour.
• Both daughters are married by 15 and 16 and pregnant by 16 and 17, continuing the cycle of poverty.
Imagine how things might have been different, if the mother had continued with her education – or received micro-finance support. What if the daughters had been educated? If they’d been able to access education in reproductive health and modern birth control?
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision looks to combine gender equality work with other kinds of programs. For example, we:
• empower women economically through microfinance loans and trainings, and savings groups;
• invite donors to help girls continue in school through gifts like ‘Send Girls to School’ in the World Vision Gift Catalogue; and
• help build safe, private latrines for girls at schools, keeping them safer and eliminating one of the main reasons many girls drop out.
- Improve childhood nutrition
According to the World Health Organization, eliminating malnutrition is one of the most cost-effective solutions to poverty. The developmental, economic, social and medical impacts of malnutrition are serious and lasting. It affects individuals as well as their families, communities and countries.
Nourishing babies and young children is one of the best ways to fight poverty. Doing so in this critical window can improve children’s well-being for a lifetime – not just as survivors. But as students, earners and leaders.
Conversely, malnourished babies and young children can become stunted for a lifetime – both physically and cognitively. In 2020, an estimated 149 million children under five were estimated to be stunted.
Here’s a sense of what can happen in a family in an impoverished region, without childhood nutrition:
• In South Sudan, extreme drought has withered a family’s crops, leaving each person with just one meal a day.
• The mother is malnourished when she becomes pregnant with a baby boy.
• Her developing fetus is deprived of key nutrients at a critical time of life – in the womb.
• The baby is born underweight, and there’s little breast milk for him.
• The little boy grows up stunted, physically and cognitively.
• He is frequently ill and struggles to understand what’s being taught in school.
• The child is unable to complete primary school, affecting his prospects for a lifetime.
• He joins thousands of children in his region who are stunted, affecting the economic development of their community and region.
Imagine how things might have been different – had the mother received enough nutritious food in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Her son could have benefitted immensely.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision focuses heavily on childhood nutrition. For example, we:
• partner with the World Food Programme, to distribute emergency food at times when families have no way of providing;
• through our Gift Catalogue, offer donors ways to provide urgent help for malnourished children or help families improve food security; and
• partner with Canada’s government on programs to improve maternal, newborn and early childhood nutrition.
- Support environmental programs
Climate change is drastically impacting poverty. In fact, experts agree that any viable solutions to poverty must include environmental programming – not just in poor countries, but around the world.
Between 2030 and 2050, climate change alone is expected to cause approximately 250,000 extra deaths per year. That’s from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress alone, says the World Health Organization.
Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poor living in rural areas count on natural resources such as forests, lakes and oceans for their livelihoods. Extreme weather is playing havoc with these. And children in low-income countries are suffering the most.
Here’s a sense of what might happen in a family in an impoverished region, without environmental programs:
• In Ethiopia, a family relies on wood for all their cooking.
• Each day, a young boy walks with his mother to the forest to gather fuel.
• The family uses it for cooking, heating water and selling at market.
• They are among the country’s 112 million people relying on firewood as their main fuel source.
• This contributes to deforestation and soil degradation, reducing crop yields and changing rainfall patterns.
• As the years go by, the family’s water source dries up, fuel becomes less widely available, and their income drops.
• The boy and his siblings grow up malnourished, unable to attend school because they walk longer distances each day for fuel and water.
• Without school, clean water and nourishing food, the cycle of poverty continues.
Imagine how things could have been different for this family – with different types of fuel and other income besides firewood. The forests might have been preserved. The children might have attended school, preparing for better jobs in the future.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision often combines environmental programming with other work in a region. For example, we:
• provide wood-preserving cooking stoves powered with vegetable waste, protecting the environment while freeing up mothers to earn income in other ways;
• help restore ecosystems, involving farmers in massive tree-reforestation projects in their regions; and
• help combat climate change through eco-friendly gifts to help families in vulnerable communities through our World Vision Gift Catalogue.
- Reach children in conflict
The number of people globally who live near conflict has doubled since 2007, according to The World Bank. That’s critical to know. Because in regions where conflict is prevalent, repeated cycles of violence and turbulence often keep families trapped in poverty.
Forced displacement is a key factor in perpetuating – or even worsening – poverty. More than 82 million people are currently displaced as a result of conflict, persecution, human rights violations and violation, according to the UNHCR.
When people flee their homes, they leave behind shelter, security and livelihood, creating situations of extreme poverty.
Moreover, new generations of children are starting their lives in poverty born of conflict. For example, an estimated 75,971 Rohingya babies have entered the world in the world’s largest refugee camp since 2017.
Here’s a sense of what might happen as a result of conflict, without programs to fight poverty:
• In Syria, a family flees their town on foot during a rocket attack.
• They walk for 10 days to reach neighbouring Lebanon, where they can afford to rent just a single room.
• The parents find menial jobs that only just pay the rent, leaving nothing for food and other life necessities.
• To help make ends meet, their four children panhandle 12 hours each day.
• Two of the kids are beaten up – their proceeds stolen – and a third is sexually assaulted.
• Lebanon’s school system is overloaded – with an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees in the country – so the children can’t attend.
• They embark on a lifetime of destitution their parents never knew as children.
Imagine how things might have been different for this family. Had they received assistance with shelter, food, medical care and education, the children might be growing up with brighter opportunities for the future.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision reaches into the world’s toughest places, meeting children wherever they are. For example, we:
• assist children who have experienced the worst that life can offer – including violent conflict – through our Raw Hope initiative; and
• empower children who have experienced war, as leaders and advocates in their communities.
- Prevent child marriage
Child marriage is a fundamental violation of a girls’ inherent rights. Poverty is often a cause of child marriage but also, a life-long consequence. Why?
Because girls forced into marriage typically leave school early and become pregnant quickly. Without education, girls can’t secure good jobs and may remain poor and unempowered for a lifetime. Without sufficient family income, their own daughters may not be able to attend school.
Child marriage also has a long-lasting impact on communities and societies. Experts agree the practice is an impediment to social and economic development. Yet each year, an estimated 12 million girls marry against their will. More than 650 million women and girls worldwide married as children.
Here’s a sense of what might happen in a family facing poverty, as a result of child marriage:
• In the Central African Republic, conflict and drought force a family to flee their community.
• After four months living rough while looking for work, their funds are about to run out.
• A man they meet expresses interest in marrying their 14-year-old daughter.
• The ‘bride price’ he offers could feed the girl’s family for the next year.
• Reluctantly, the parents agree, to ensure all their children are provided for.
• The daughter is devastated, but living far from community, has no one to appeal to for help.
• As a wife, she is expected to leave school for good – another heartbreak.
• Before turning 25 she gives birth to eight children, only five of whom survive.
• She is unable to help pay for her children’s life necessities, including education.
• Two of her daughters are married as children, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Imagine how things might have been different, had the daughter not been a child bride. She might have continued with her education, secured a good job and made her own decisions about marriage. She might have helped educate her own daughters, giving them more options in life.
When seeking ways to reduce poverty, World Vision works to protect girls from the dangers of child marriage by:
• assisting families in the world’s toughest places, so they can provide for their children without considering child marriage;
• educating families and communities about gender equality and the importance of helping girls remain in school;
• involving people in Canada in advocating for children the world over; and
• inviting donors to help send girls to school through our Gift Catalogue.