Poverty is the condition where a person completely lacks resources, including financial and cannot have a minimal standard of living. It can source other problems such as malnutrition, unemployment, and poor literacy. Children and low-income families living in the world’s low and middle-income countries are much vulnerable and afraid since they depend on others. Many non-governmental and government organizations try to reduce poverty by providing basic needs to people who cannot earn adequate income. Income inequality and economic growth is seen to be the major contributor to poverty. This paper discusses poverty as a challenge and the mechanisms that can be addressed through economic development and growth.
Poverty as a Problem
The first objective of sustainable development goals (SDGs) is to end poverty in all its forms and globally by 2030. The aim is to eliminate extreme poverty for all people worldwide, currently defined as individuals living below $1.25 a day (United Nations, 2021). Lack or limited access to economic resources as well as disability are key drivers of poverty. In this regard, the task is to ensure the poor and vulnerable gain equal rights to essential services, land and other economic resources (United Nations, 2021). Having eradication of poverty as the first goal of the SDG confirms how ending the issue is critical in achieving human and economic growth and development.
Poor healthcare systems, particularly for mothers and children, in countries where the infrastructure is feeble, coincides with poverty. Diseases that are preventable and treatable such as diarrhea, malaria, and respiratory infections, can be deadly, mostly for the young population. It is challenging to travel long distances to get drugs or medications since money is already a problem for them, leading to extreme poverty (Acharya & Sadath, 2019). In countries where poverty is a concern, access to quality maternal healthcare is poor. Lactating and pregnant women experience a mass of difficulties when looking for care from the hospitals. Pregnant adolescent girls are not allowed to go to clinics without a male as an escort so as not to receive abusive care from the nurses that increase the risk for diseases and death.
The lack of equality and marginalization, inclusive economic growth, and job opportunities exacerbates poverty. Poor governance can sustain poverty and make it challenging to create pro-poor growth and create institutions to tackle the problems. For a society or a country to escape poverty, everyone should be involved in decision-making processes (Acharya & Sadath, 2019). A weak society makes it tougher to hold governments accountable for their measures and tackle poverty and inequality. The absence of respect for human rights can cause compound deprivation through denial of health and the right to education.
Lack of infrastructure including roads, cell phones, and Internet can isolate the communities living in the rural areas. People going to work find it challenging since there are no proper roads to get them. People in rural areas have to travel long distances to access essential services that take time and cost a significant money, keeping families in poverty (Amin et al., 2020). They often live by means of not being able to access the market, school, and work. The isolated communities have limited opportunities and may find it hard to escape from poverty. With poor infrastructure, communication is stuck, resulting in social isolation among the impoverished in rural areas since they have limited media access.
Without the government support, particularly for those who depend on social welfare programs if they need food and healthcare assistance. Some countries as the United States, give such help to their citizens; however, some governments cannot serve the poor (Amin et al., 2020). Ineffective administration leads to extreme poverty making the people lack basic needs and proper healthcare. Without adequate political goodwill support, the situation will contribute to unsafety and no security for citizens. A nation’s constructive expenditure should have a positive effect on poverty reduction to better the living for their people. The management of a country can promote poverty by failing to provide social welfare programs and redirecting funds away from those who need help.
No one would like to be poor, but sometimes some social aspects can drive one into poverty. Most poor people suffer from domestic abuse and do not know how to control their income, leading to poverty. People who are victims of racism and gender discrimination scrap to get a good education and the right jobs that can get them out of poverty (Amin et al., 2020). The most vulnerable group of people include women and racial minorities since they have less access to satisfactory medical care and healthy food. Social injustice generally happens when there is a violation or denial of human rights to a particular group of people in the society around the world.
The lack of a proper career or livelihoods leads to poverty because no good income can come without a good job. The current world has made traditional jobs such as farming unattractive to many people. According to Acharya and Sadath (2019), the democratic republic of Congo is an example of the countries where the population in the rural areas do not have natural resources. Conflict over land forced the people to move away from their primary food source and income, leaving the country to extreme poverty. In such countries as the United States, many people have a job, but they are not paid well as expected. The economic policy is stringent, making the workers perform full-time jobs under conditions below the federal poverty guidelines.
People living in extreme poverty lack reserves that can help during climate change in the areas. When there is a difference in climate, or someone gets ill, it becomes challenging since they do not have any savings that can help after natural disaster wrecks the harvest (Garza-Rodriguez, 2018). When a disaster gets poor, it finds them not ready to help themselves, and some can take their children away from school, leading to early marriages for the girls. With the prolonged conflict, some communities can send families to extreme poverty, and recovering might be a problem.
Analysis of Poverty and Economic Growth
The key to attaining economic growth lies in addressing the main challenge to the issue of poverty. Eradicating poverty to achieve economic growth requires a critical examination of factors that encourage the condition. They include a lack of sound pro-poor national, regional as well as international policy frameworks. Inadequate mobilization of resources from multiple sources through programs specifically designed to end all forms of poverty. Gender inequality in terms of rights and access to economic resources, tenure, and control of land, suitable new technologies as well as financial services. Implementing strategies to solve each of these contributing factors effectively would lead to poverty eradication resulting in economic growth.
Poverty can directly be attributed to the general health of an economy; thus, one of the ways of attaining economic growth is through solving poverty. Poor people have limited financial capacity, and therefore they spend less money, which translates to low economic development and growth. When households live below a dollar a day, they are forced to make tough decisions on spending the money and may only be left with the option of fetching food to keep them alive (Garza-Rodriguez, 2018). However, through poverty eradication, individuals can generate a virtuous circle of both opportunity and prosperity hence economic growth. When people have higher amounts of disposable income due to economic growth, then they can purchase goods and services, which promotes economic development, which leads to growth.
Economic growth creates employment prospects and hence increased demand for labor. The poor often perceive labor as one of the key assets in the struggle to earn a livelihood. Therefore, increasing job opportunities is a critical element in fighting poverty. When a higher proportion of a nation’s working-age population is engaged in various income-generating activities, a country is very likely to end the vicious cycle of poverty. Globally, youths make up to 25 percent of the working population; however, approximately 47 percent are unemployed (Amin et al., 2020). Actual salaries and wages paid for both low-skilled and unskilled labor can increase a country’s gross domestic product and enhance a nation’s economic growth.
Solving poverty involves increasing poor people’s incomes which enhances their capacity to pay for goods and services, improving their access to better healthcare. Higher levels of income are closely linked to a better quality of life and lower mortalities, including infant deaths. Higher economic growth means that a country can increase its per capita income and further invest more in its health sector. Adequate financing of the health sector and higher per capita income means that citizens can access quality healthcare, thus reducing health risks (Garza-Rodriguez, 2018). A country’s population’s well-being affects economic development and growth since when individuals are unwell, they cannot work ultimately or optimally, leading to an unhealthy economy.
Education plays a key role in how many poor people can participate in economic growth opportunities. When poor people get employment opportunities, they can invest in education by sending their kids to school hence economic growth. When children are well trained, they grow up to become informed adults who desire and fight for better governance (Garza-Rodriguez, 2018). Therefore, poverty eradication promotes human development, which encourages economic growth. Slow development and weak economic growth suggest poor human development and encourage financial failure resulting in a further worsening situation. Acquired skills, for instance, reading and writing and numeracy, have a positive impact on marginalized populations’ level of income, which, in turn, promotes economic growth.
It is important to understand the causes of poverty and have development goals to end it in all forms around the world. This explains why it is at the top of the list of the seventeen SDGs. Poverty negatively impacts cognitive development, emotional, social, and children’s health since they are born in poverty. Everyone is entitled to get proper education since it opens doors for other resources. With poverty, the child’s readiness to go to school reduces because of poor physical health decreases the ability to remember information. Economic development lowers poverty rates; subsequently, there can be no rise in the average income without economic progress. Economic development’s main objective is to improve the material standards of living by raising per capita revenues.
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Amin, A., Liu, Y., Yu, J., Chandio, A. A., Rasool, S. F., Luo, J., & Zaman, S. (2020). How does energy poverty affect economic development? A panel data analysis of South Asian countries. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1-13. Web.
Garza-Rodriguez, J. (2018). Poverty and economic growth in Mexico. Social Sciences, 7(10), 183. Web.
United Nations (2021). #Envision2030 Goal 1: No poverty, Web.