• Elizabeth Xu

What everyone needs to know about poverty



Poverty affects many people and is one of the greatest injustices in the world. We have fought to solve this problem since the beginning of humanity but today it is still a problem and we still have many people affected by poverty. Most people think that poverty is just a lack of money but there are many other forms of poverty. People who don’t have access to health care, clean water, education, housing or security can also be considered to be in poverty. This is why it is difficult to determine the total amount of people in poverty. We can only imagine that it must be very great. The people worst hit by poverty are those who live in extreme poverty, defined as people who make less than $2 a day. The world health organization believes that 9 percent of the world population lives in extreme poverty. That is around 736 million people.


One reason why poverty is a huge injustice is that it can lead people to premature preventable deaths. A lack of good sanitation, hygiene, and drinking water can cause a lot of health issues that can lead to death. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to the effects of poverty. From diseases caused by bad sanitation and water alone, 297 000 lives are lost per year. In other words, 297 000 children could have survived if they have been given the same life-saving resources available to people in richer countries. However, there are still many people dying of the same causes in developed countries. It is believed that in the US alone, over 2 million people die from poverty per year.


And it isn’t just because people die that poverty is a problem. Those who survive are still struggling. Poverty steals a human’s greatest right from them: dignity. This is an injustice because many people get to live comfortably in clean and safe houses with everything they need while others struggle to find food and shelter. They never get the chance of living a comfortable life but have to live in dangerous and dirty places and eat anything they can find. These people don’t get the chance to live in clean and safe places, eat clean and healthy food On top of all those struggles, these people often lose hope because they have a hard time finding help.


Poverty is a very complex problem and there are many causes such as corruption, war, famine, bad education etc. What has been said for years is to solve the root problems and teach countries to be independent. But that has only encouraged very slow recoveries. What we really need is to get rid of the stigma of poverty, inform people about this injustice, and have a compassionate attitude towards people in need. Only by informing more people can we raise awareness and help with this problem. Today, many people who have the power to help are too busy thinking about themselves and forget that they have the privilege to make a big difference by knowing about the issue and doing something about it. If we can get more people to care about this issue, we are a step closer to giving everyone the same rights and chances.