NEW YORK: International Day for Eradication of Poverty is being observed around the world to raise awareness about the need to eradicate poverty and destitution particularly in developing countries.
This year’s theme of the day is “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all. “According to the United Nations, the theme addresses the challenge of achieving social and environmental justice for all. “The growing recognition of the multi-dimensionality of poverty means that these two issues are inseparably intertwined and that social justice cannot be fully realized without aggressively rectifying environmental injustices at the same time.”
“Whereas progress has been made in addressing income poverty, there has been less success in addressing the other important dimensions of poverty, including the rapidly growing impact of the environment, within a more holistic approach.”
“People living in extreme poverty are the first to act decisively within their communities in response to poverty, climate change and environmental challenges. However, their efforts and experience often go unnoticed and unappreciated; their ability to contribute positively to solutions has been overlooked; they are not recognized as drivers of change, and their voices are not heard, especially in international bodies,” it added.
In his message on the occasion, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed need to stand with people living in poverty throughout COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The UN chief said the COVID-19 pandemic is a double crisis for the world’s poorest people as they have the highest risk of exposure to the virus and least access to quality healthcare. Recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year – the first increase in decades. Women are at greatest risk as they are more likely to lose their jobs and less likely to have social protection.
He the pandemic needs extraordinary efforts to fight poverty and strong collective action. He said governments must accelerate economic transformation by investing in a green, sustainable recovery.
“We need a new generation of social protection programmes that also cover people working in the informal economy. Joining together in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic,” he said.