Whilst we are closer than ever to ending poverty once and for all, we still have a long journey ahead of us. In April 2013, the World Bank set a new goal to end extreme poverty in a generation. The new target is to have no more than 3 per cent of the world’s population living on just $1.90 a day by 2030. As it stands, 1 in 10 people who live in third-world countries live off less that $1.90 a day – this figure must dramatically decrease within the next decade in order to meet the target put in place.
Poverty extends to much more than just a lack of income. The snowball effect of this crisis leads to hunger, malnutrition, disease, social discrimination and exclusion. In this article we explore the actions that are being taken around the world, in a bid to reach the 2030 target and abolish poverty.
You will of heard of the big charities such as Oxfam, Save The Children and unicef who have a global presence, sharing a unanimous goal to change lives and make a difference to those less fortunate. These charities are well established and all contribute to helping those living in poverty, however there are smaller organisations that are also taking action and are less well known.
Against Malaria, is a charity set up by CEO Rob Mather which, much as the name suggests, helps protect people from malaria. Mather and his team fund anti-malaria nets, which are designed to be long-lasting. The results of decreased malaria cases are recorded as the organisation continue to monitor whether the nets are being used. A huge part of this process is educating people on why they need the nets to protect them from catching malaria, and the consequences of catching the disease.
Another organisation working to help those living in poverty, and address the other problems associated with it is the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute located in India. The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute works to end curable blindness and in 2019 welcomed 56,083 outpatients and completed 11,744 cornea surgeries, for free. These individuals were gifted their sight, by undergoing a procedure that was funded by the institute themselves. Without the help of Tej Kohli and his team – this procedure would be too costly for the victims. Reaching people living with blindness and severe visual impairment in the rural areas where 66% of Indians live is a difficulty that the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute faces daily, however, the institute is now carrying out more and more surgeries in rural locations and continues to look for more long-term ways to solve this problem through the use of technology.
Finally, an organisation that is helping abolish poverty that you really should be aware of is Engineers by Borders, founded by Dr Bernard Amadei. Dr. Amadei created the organisation which sees thousands of passionate volunteers working for free to develop hundreds of engineering projects across the globe. With the support of monetary donors across the world, the volunteering engineers have finished projects in over 39 countries, providing facilities for individuals and communities which are long lasting and sustainable. Engineers by Borders have created footbridges, providing pathways to clean water, solar panels to bring light to communities and also dug for clean water.
The work to end extreme poverty is far from over, and many challenges remain. The latest projections show that if we continue down a business-as-usual path, the world will not be able to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach rural parts of the world, particularly those who are bound by political unrest and reside in remote areas. With the help of more companies and organisations similar to the likes of Against Malaria, Engineers by Borders and The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, we will continue to fight against poverty and draw closer to the 2030 target.