A Perspective on Poverty

There is a rightful global obsession with poverty.

Since 1987, the world has marked October 17 as “The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty”. It’s odd that in the Wikipedia article on the subject, the writers characterize the day as being “celebrated” as, despite progress, poverty is seemingly our never-ending story.

The UN Millennium Development Goals named eradicating poverty as Job #1 from 2000-2015. During that time, about 1 billion people were lifted from poverty and the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day, or in extreme poverty, was cut in half. The UN Sustainable Development Goals now aim to cut the number of people in that category to zero by 2030. In addition, the goals seek to reduce at least by half the proportion of people living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.

So what does being poor actually look like? What does it feel like to live with less than you need? The world is enormous. Just how can you wrap your head around what poverty looks and feels like while living in the richest and among the most advanced countries in the history of humankind if this isn’t your everyday existence?

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