Ways to Reduce Poverty

Poverty is the state of human beings who are poor. That is, they have little or no material means of surviving; little or no food, shelter, clothes, healthcare, education, and other physical means of living and improving one’s life. Some definitions of poverty are relative, rather than absolute.

Recent economic research says that financial aid has not been effective in reducing poverty. Close to 1.6 billion people – more than 25% of the world’s population – rely on forest resources for their livelihoods and most of them (1.2 billion) use trees on farms to generate food and cash. Moreover, many countries in the developing world draw on fuelwood to meet as much as 90% of energy requirements.

Despite the importance of these resources for the range of economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits they provide, data on such dimensions are either sketchy or not available. During an international forum which took place in 2001 to discuss the potential of forestry to reduce poverty, experts developed a four-point agenda for action which calls for:

  • strengthening the rights of poor people, local capabilities and governance;
  • reducing vulnerability of poor people;
  • removing constraints to access profitable and dynamic opportunities in forestry;
  • working in partnerships.
Poverty is a call to action for the poor and for the wealthy. It is a call to change the world so that all people have enough to eat, have shelter, have access to education and health, are protected from violence and have a voice in what happens in their communities.

As a consequence, not only are poor children less likely to enrol in primary school, but those who do so are more likely to drop out. Low quality education reinforces this problem, as parents are less willing to bear those costs if they cannot see the benefits of education.With research showing low-income youth are much less likely to attend college than their higher income peers.

People felt that the causes of low income poverty included:

  • low productivity in agriculture, fishing and livestock
  • lack of jobs, and youth moving to the towns to find jobs
  • limited availability of
  • resources and jobs especially for women and the youth
  • land, especially for women
  • credit
  • markets
  • infrastructure eg ( roads, energy, communications)

People also gave some ideas about how to reduce non income poverty. These covered access to social services, survival and vulnerability, and social well being.We can work to reduce poverty by growing community food, health and education programs and providing Micro-credit schemes to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

People felt that some possible ways of reducing income poverty might include: 

  • improving the machinery and methods in agriculture
  • improving the employment and income possibilities of the wealth creation sectors and making sure that local communities can share in the wealth that is created
  • creating more effective safety nets to help vulnerable people

People were concerned about access to education, health services and water supply. Women and youth were particularly concerned about access to education and women and the elderly were concerned about access to health. Women were also concerned about access to safe water.

People thought that their living conditions were not as good as it might be because of:

  • corruption and bureaucracy
  • lack of social and political harmony
  • limited opportunities to participate in development efforts
  • not enough attention being given to citizen’s rights and responsibilities
  • lack of good governance
  • lack of political commitment to poverty reduction amongst the political leadership

Many stakeholders were worried about good governance. Issues which they mentioned included:

  • poor relationships between government officials and the public
  • complicated decision making processes
  • unclear division of responsibilities between central and local government
  • weak local government because of staffing and money problems
  • weak separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary
  • the need for the government and private businesses to work together better
Vulnerability and Safety Nets
There are many reasons for people being vulnerable. Droughts, floods and other unpredictable weather conditions can affect everybody. Disabled people are very vulnerable, especially the elderly. Divorce can also cause problems as can other old fashioned customs and traditions. We need to identify the different types of vulnerable people and to build safety nets to protect them from poverty.
The views of the main political parties
  • tackle the problems of education, health, water, infrastructure and good governance
  • support trade, tourism and agriculture as wealth creating areas
  • emphasise water and electricity as priorities for government action
  • make the work force more productive, especially in agriculture

Tourism an important force to reduce poverty and foster global solidarity

There is no better way to learn about a new culture than to experience it first-hand. Tourism offers a wonderful connecting thread between visitor and host community. It promotes dialogue and interaction.In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, tourism can build bridges and contribute to peace.
The tax system: 
The study shows real consolidation should come from the revenues.With two parallel taxation structures (a regular one encompassing taxes.The tax administration needs “rethinking,” with reforms to its audit function and a reduction in tax compliance costs and elimination of tax privileges that force formal businesses to turn to the informal economy, according to the report.
Education spending in rural areas:
Education is the key to unlocking inter-generational deprivation, as it offers the knowledge people need to live healthy, happy lives.Spending on rural education must be assessed and alternative ways to provide education and boost quality of teaching must be explored. They identified six key education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults.
  1. Expand early childhood care and education
  2. Provide free and compulsory primary Education for All
  3. Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults
  4. Increase adult literacy by 50 percent
  5. Achieve gender parity by 2005, and gender equality by 2015
  6. Improve the quality of education
RESULTS actively advocates for donor governments to increase their aid for basic education, and improve the way it is being delivered so that it achieves measureable, effective and tangible impacts on education development objectives. By advocating for better education aid policy  and within multilaterals such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, RESULTS ensures that donors are fulfilling their commitment to achieve Education for All.
The role of education in poverty eradication, in close co-operation with other social sectors, is crucial. No country has succeeded if it has not educated its people. Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation.
Eradication of Poverty confirms that universal primary education is central to the fight against poverty. Understandably so, because this is the level of education through which most poor children pass and within which their achievements should assist them to break the cycle of poverty. In fact, education is the social institution that reaches the largest segment of the population with the goal of guiding it through a systematic learning process.

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