Will We Be the First Generation in History to See It?
A few weeks ago, the POINT blog talked about the Global Goals and how they actually might be possible to achieve. The first goal was Ending Poverty, and we learned that the Millennium Goal of cutting global poverty in half by 2015 was not only achieved, but exceeded.
Now, the news is breaking- The World Bank announced this month that we can expect to see the world’s population living in extreme poverty drop under 10% by the end of 2015. For the first time ever.
That’s amazing news! But that still leaves over 700 million people living below that line. We think that is still 700 million too many.
Now we are going to take a deeper look at how global poverty can possibly be totally eradicated in the next 15 years. The global goals poverty initiative identifies a number of sub-areas to be targeted:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
• Eradicate extreme poverty (people living on less than $1.25 a day)
• Reduce at least by half the proportion of people living in poverty in all its dimensions
• Implement social protection systems and measures for all, and achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
• Ensure that all men and women have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership, and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology, and financial services
• Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, and reduce their exposure to climate related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disaster
There are some things happening around the world already that are targeting these issues. The World Bank takes this goal very seriously, using three approaches- Grow, Invest, Insure– to combat poverty around the globe. They provide data and analysis used by governments and NGO’s to better identify, target, and serve impoverished populations, they fund infrastructure in India, bring electricity to rural Bangladesh, and educational projects for Rwandan Girls. This wide, sweeping approach shows us just how much work it will take to realistically achieve this goal.
The Economist released a story about how developing countries are using tech to improve service to the poor. Brazil implemented a family grant “Bolsa Família,” a “stipend for poor families paid on condition that the children are vaccinated and go to school” which centralized and coordinated similar schemes on the smaller level. And South Africa uses fingerprinting to cut down on fraud and waste, in an attempt to make sure the state aid goes to those most in need.
These programs, and hundreds of others, are all working to eradicate poverty. Each one by itself probably could not manage to solve this singlehandedly, but when all of us work together and do what we are best at, it’s amazing what can happen.
Cheers to 10%, and here’s to nearing zero.