The United Nations on Tuesday commemorated the 2023 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, celebrated annually on October 17, aims to promote understanding and dialogue between people living in poverty and the wider society.
Poverty is a denial of human rights for an individual. It not only leads to a life of deprivation, hunger and suffering, but also prevents the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms, which every individual should be able to enjoy without any hindrance. Ending poverty is not just helping the poor – it is giving every woman and man the chance to live with dignity.
According to the United Nations, 8.4% of the world’s population, or as many as 670 million people, were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2022. An estimated 7% of the global population – around 575 million people – could still find themselves trapped in extreme poverty by 2030.
The theme of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2023 is “Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting dignity in practice for all”
This year’s theme calls for universal access to decent work and social protection as a means to uphold human dignity for all people, and to emphasize that decent work must empower people, provide fair wages and safe working conditions, and fundamentally recognize the inherent value and humanity of all workers.
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to October 17, 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadero in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.
The gathering proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17 to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.
Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the UN General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Speaking on the occasion, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Yet, as we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, nearly 700 million people are barely scraping by, living on less than $2.15 per day.
“Over a billion people are deprived of basic needs like food, water, health care and education. Billions more lack sanitation and access to energy, jobs, housing and social safety nets.
“Meanwhile, conflicts, the climate crisis, discrimination and exclusion — particularly against women and girls — are deepening the distress.
“This is compounded by an outdated, dysfunctional and unfair global financial system that hinders developing countries from investing in alleviating poverty and achieving the SDGs.
“At current rates, almost 500 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030. This is unacceptable.
“At the SDG Summit in September, world leaders recognized the need to reform the international financial architecture and committed to a bold plan to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and accelerate efforts to eradicate poverty everywhere.
“This includes support for an SDG Stimulus of at least $500 billion per year in financing for investments to achieve this.
“Leaders also agreed on targeted action aimed at alleviating poverty and suffering for all people — from transformed food and education systems, to decent jobs and expanded social protection, as this year’s theme highlights.
“Ending poverty is the challenge of our time.
But it is a challenge we can win. On this important day, let’s renew our commitment to a world free of poverty.”
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.