International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Famine, conflict, forced migration and climate change blocking progress in poverty alleviation
17 October 2018
Rome, 17 October 2018 – As the UN marks its annual Day for the Eradication of Poverty, more people than ever before are going hungry, due in large part to extreme poverty – currently measured as living on less than US$1.90 a day.
This year is staged under the theme: "Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity," comes as the war in Syria, famine in Yemen, and a population surge in sub-Saharan Africa continue to undermine efforts to reduce the number of people living in poverty, 80 per cent of whom live in rural areas.
Although the decline in poverty rates has slowed, the UN's Sustainable Development Goal One (SDG1) is to eradicate poverty in all its forms – by 2030 by increasing pro-poor investments.
"Despite some progress in poverty reduction, growing inequality is a global challenge. We must tackle the root causes, including laws that discriminate and marginalize,Despite some progress in poverty reduction, growing inequality is a global challenge. We must tackle the root causes, including laws that discriminate and marginalize." said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Earlier this year, IFAD unveiled targets to support a US$3.5 billion programme of loans and grants, to improve the situations of tens of millions of rural people in developing countries around the world.
“To achieve these goals, IFAD will intensify its work on climate, nutrition and gender – key focus areas which will be mainstreamed across our portfolio,” announced IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo at a meeting of Member States in February.
The UN estimates that some 783 million live below the international poverty line, the majority in rural areas in East Asia, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
IFAD's latest figures indicate that eliminating hunger and poverty by 2030 could cost an additional US$265 billion per year.
The Global Goals call for the income of the poorest 40 per cent in each country to grow at a higher rate than the overall average. To solve the greatest problems facing humanity, we must start at the bottom: taking bigger steps to protect the planet is likely to be one of the core challenges.