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Can we eradicate poverty?

October 17 marked the international day for the eradication of poverty, and this year's theme is 'acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty'.

Poverty, something that for so many of us is a daily reality, is the most tangible way to grasp the inequalities of our world. Whether your understanding of poverty is the Haitian mud cakes (a mixture of mud, salt and butter, which have become synonymous with the diabolical poverty in Haiti) or a family in a western country not able to put food on the table despite its breadwinners having several jobs, it is all around us.

Poverty is just the umbrella term for a whole host of human conditions that fall underneath its perils. The UN identifies some of the key aspects of poverty as dangerous working conditions, unsafe housing, lack of nutritional foods, unequal access to the justice system and justice more generally, lack of political power and influence, and limited access to health care and proper education.

How can we eliminate poverty as we stride toward 2020? Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup.

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The good

Poverty is in decline across the world

Goal number 1 of the Sustainable Development goals sets out to see no one living in poverty by 2030. And while over the last decade, more people than a billion across the world said goodbye to some of the most poverty-ridden conditions.

However, with wealth disparity, wars and inequality still rife in our world, it is estimated that if we continue in this direction, alongside our swelling population, half a billion individuals are projected to live in poverty by 2030.

The chart below, taken from Our World in Data, shows the projection made by the development research team at the World Bank. This projection answers the question of what would happen to extreme poverty trends if the economic growth of the past decade continued as it is until 2030.

The bad

The global refugee crisis is robbing people of their dignity

The refugee crisis in The Balkans has been steadily worsening over the past few years, with tens of thousands of migrants now stuck in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as Europe has closed its borders.

Collective Aid is run by a group of long-term volunteers who are supported throughout the year by short-term volunteers from across the world.

In addition to providing nutritious food and other essentials to refugees, the organisation also runs a growing number of activity programs, language classes, and workshops for refugees.

Support Collective Aid and help relief the estimated 38,000 refugees currently in Bosnia and in need of humanitarian help.


Collective Aid provide food and relief to refugees across The Balkans

by Yair Oded

As the refugee crisis in The Balkans worsens, Collective Aid work to provide refugees with food, relief, and support.
Vulnerable Migrants
children_mexicanborder petition calls for emergency medical care for children seeking asylum in the U.S.

by Yair Oded

The dire conditions under which migrant children are held at Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities have drawn increasing criticism by concerned citizens, lawmakers, and human rights activists.
africa border usa

So close, yet so far: African migrants in Mexico

by Magdalena Rojo

They have a dream of a life in the United States or Canada. Yet for now, hundreds of African migrants stay in limbo in Mexican border towns.

Bosnian camp for migrants: no water, no electricity but tuberculosis and scabies

by Katarina Panić

The newest camp for migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina was established a few months ago in the forests near the Vučjak mountain and it hosts some 800 people. The face the prospect of a harsh winter: no running water, no permanent electricity; tuberculosis and scabies have been recorded; one man stabbed to death last month. Unlike five other camps, the European institutions refuse to finance this one because it is too close to the Croatian border, which means the EU border too.
Country focus

The Republic of Haiti, with 10 million citizens, has been struggling with extreme poverty and following a 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people, the Carribean island nation has been fighting to get back on its feet.

Haiti became the world's first black-ruled nation when it claimed independence from French colonial rule in 1791, with a former slave Toussaint-Louverture leading the rebels in the revolution. It since then had to pay reparations to France which demanded payment for its former slave owners. In recent years there have been calls for France to repay Haiti.

Due to its severe poverty and damage to infrastructure, it is estimated that only 19 percent of Haitians were using the internet in 2017, and radio is still the biggest media for news and communication.