Recognizing International Day for the Eradication of Poverty


Irene Khan Quote on Peace and Human RightsHandwriting by Marisa Mangum

At The Little Market, our mission is to support dignified job opportunities for individuals in marginalized communities all over the world. By ethically sourcing and purchasing artisan-made goods, we support sustainable income opportunities to help break the cycle of poverty and create a brighter future. A core part of our mission is to raise awareness for social justice issues, such as poverty and homelessness, and share avenues in which our readers can use their voices and actions to help others. Today, we are recognizing the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which provides the opportunity to call attention to the issue of extreme poverty and to work toward ways in which we can eliminate it.

This year marks a few milestones. It is the 25th anniversary of the the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as declared by the United Nations General Assembly. It is the 30th anniversary of the Call to Action created by Father Joseph Wresinski, who influenced the creation of this day to recognize overcoming poverty. Furthermore, 70 years ago was the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This has led to the 2018 theme of “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.” The United Nations explains the relationship between extreme poverty and human rights. Those who are experiencing situations of extreme poverty are also disproportionately affected by various human rights violations. Wresinkski said, “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”

The Statistics

  • The United Nations Development Programme recently reported that while hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty over the years, 1.3 billion people are currently living in multidimensional poverty, which looks at poverty in terms of income as well as basic living standards, health, and education.
  • UNICEF reported that nearly 2.4 billion people around the world are not using improved sanitation. And around 663 million do not have access to improved water sources. Without safe drinking water and basic hygiene essentials, this puts these individuals at greater risk for illnesses and diseases.
  • In 2016, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 815 million people worldwide were experiencing chronic undernourishment. Promoting agricultural development is a necessary step toward helping to alleviate poverty.
  • It is estimated that 1.1 billion people around the world didn’t have access to electricity, based on reports by the Energy Access Outlook in 2017. Without electricity, there are numerous risks including health risks and limits to educational development.

How We Can Help

We can all do our part in the effort to alleviate poverty across the world. Here are a few ideas to get started below, and we would love for you to share your suggestions in the comments! 

  • Support educational and employment opportunities for those facing poverty and in search of sustainable job opportunities.
  • Volunteer in and donate to food banks and shelters.
  • Start an event in your community to help raise awareness and educate others about the facts.
  • Listen to those who are facing poverty and help their voices be heard.
  • Support service organizations who are helping to provide the essential resources and support.
  • Advocate for human rights for everyone. Everyone deserves respect and dignity with the recognition of their human rights. 

Please join us in working toward human rights for everyone and in helping individuals overcome poverty.

United Nations –  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
United Nations – Poverty Eradication – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2018
United Nations Development Programme
UNICEF – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
International Energy Agency – Energy Access Database – How electricity access makes a big impact in the fight against poverty

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