The world in the process of stabilizing in a post-pandemic environment, jobs are available, the economy is slowly climbing up again, and the world seems to be going back to normal. Yet there is an issue that has been around for decades and continues to diminish the standard of life for hundreds of millions of people across the globe, the issue being global poverty. Eradicating poverty has been one of the main goals of governments everywhere, but with the other issues that the world is facing today, poverty has gone down on the priority list. As the world evolves, there are 600 million people around the world who struggle accessing basic needs that every human is entitled to. Those who live in poverty can not afford food, have less access to education, and do not have access to health care.
A common misconception when thinking about global poverty, is that almost all of the people that are impoverished live in third world countries. In, “New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty” , by Martin Ravallion, Shaohua Chen, and Prem Sangraula, they provided the following, “One-quarter of the world’s consumption poor live in urban areas, and that proportion has been rising over time.”1 This study exemplifies how the misconception is far from true, overtime there has been an increase of slum communities in large cities around the world, and people who can not afford bare necessities. While only 25% of people living in poverty are those who live in urban areas, that number is increasing. Global poverty is not exclusive to just third world counties, even the cities with large GDP’s, and are considered developed counties also have large populations of people living in poverty. These statistics are alarming, large cities across the world are developing, and along with that is the rate of poverty in these cities.
One of the economic impacts of COVID-19 was that the percentage of people living in poverty increased as a result of the workers laid off in the initial impact of the shut-down. Once public businesses began to open again now businesses are facing the issue of a lack of laborers. Which begs the question, if there are so many jobs available across the world why are there still millions of people that can not afford basic goods? In a study conducted by OCHA, they identified various causes for why 8% of the world’s population live in poverty, the leading cause is identified as inequality and marginalization, “Gender inequality, caste systems, marginalization based on race or tribal affiliations are all economic and social inequalities that mean the same thing.”2 Poverty is systemic, barriers are set by religions, culture, or governments that leave people powerless. Even if these different communities wanted to work, unfortunately these inequalities make it challenging for these different groups of people to earn a living.
Number of people living below $1.90 a day, 2015 -2017,2018- 2020 nowcast, and forecast before and after COVID-19 (millions).3
In today’s world despite all the advances that the world has made, there is not a simple way in solving this epidemic, and in the wake of COVID, inequality, the other numerous obstacles that affect the standard of living of over 600 million people. Policies would have to be adopted, and changed to the standards of each country in order to make changes to start the long process of conquering this issue that has affected the world for decades. The pandemic has united people across the world together, and allowed us to empathize with one another. With this in mind, the highest priority is to save lives and assist those that are unable to assist themselves. Some examples of changes that can be made are, “Closing the gaps between policy aspiration and attainment…Enhancing learning…Expanding cooperation and coordination.”4 Modern day poverty affects people everywhere, it deprives children, families, countless people who are already discriminated against, the opportunity for stability. Even within our own communities, in Colorado has over 56,000 people who are living in poverty. For the livelihood of people all across the world who have been neglected, it is time that we begin fixing the problem that should not have occurred, giving back everyone accessibility to housing, food, education, and healthcare.
1 Martin Ravallion, et al. “New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty”, Population and Development Review, 2007, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00193.x.
2 “11 Top Causes of Global Poverty”, Reliefweb, March 4 2020, https://reliefweb.int/report/world/11-top-causes- global-poverty.
3 “End Poverty In All Its Forms Everywhere”, United Nations, 2021 ,https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2021/ Goal-01/.
4 “Poverty”, The World Bank, 2021, https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview#2.
Roser, Max, and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina. “Global Extreme Poverty.” Our World in Data. Global Change Data Lab, May 25, 2013. https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty.
“Overview.” World Bank, October 14, 2021. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/ overview#2.
“11 Top Causes of Global Poverty – World.” ReliefWeb. OCHA, March 4, 2020. https:// reliefweb.int/report/world/11-top-causes-global-poverty.
Ravallion, Martin, Shaohua Chen, and Prem Sangraula. “New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty.” Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, December 7, 2007. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00193.x.
“- SDG Indicators.” United Nations. United Nations, 2021. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/ 2021/Goal-01/.
“Poverty in Colorado Springs, Colorado.” 12.8% Poverty Rate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Welfare Info. Accessed November 9, 2021. https://www.welfareinfo.org/poverty-rate/ colorado/colorado-springs.