International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is a global holiday celebrated on 17th October every year. It was first commemorated on 17th October 1987 at the Trocadéro in Paris, France, where over 100,000 people gathered in honor of extreme poverty, hunger, fear, and violence victims. They declared poverty as a violation of human rights and upheld the need to unite in ensuring that these rights are respected. Ever since then, people of all beliefs, backgrounds, and social origins gather on 17th October each year to revive their dedication and show their unity with the poor.

Through resolution 47/196 which was adopted on 22nd December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 17th October to be the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. All States are invited to devote the day to promoting concrete activities regarding the eradication of poverty and destitution. UNESCO expertizes in the service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and particularly Goal 1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere. The sustainable fight to eradicate poverty requires individual capacity building through science, education, and support for a creative economy, which are sources of employment, pride, and dignity.

In a world of an unprecedented degree of economic development, financial resources and technological means, millions of people are living in extreme poverty. Poverty is more of a multidimensional phenomenon than just an economic issue. It includes a lack of income and the basic abilities to live in dignity. Persons living in poverty face many deprivations that hinder them from realizing their rights. These include unsafe housing, lack of nutritious food, limited access to health care, dangerous work conditions, unequal access to justice, and lack of political power.

The Theme for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2021

The theme for this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is “Building Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet”. As we commence on the post-COVID recovery and the Sustainable Development Goals, people living in poverty want to build forward, rather than build back better. Building forward means reshaping our relationship with nature, demolishing discrimination structures that put people living in poverty at a disadvantage, and developing the legal and moral framework of human rights that puts human dignity at the heart of action and policy. Building forward means no one gets left behind and that people facing poverty are actively encouraged to engage in meaningful and informed participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives directly. In building forward, we should let ourselves have the wealth of energy, wisdom, and resourcefulness that people facing poverty can contribute to our societies and our communities, and eventually to our planet.

Significance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty highlights the issues facing the poor and the urgency needed to act against the same. It;

  • Honors the people living in poverty – This day gives us a chance to realize and appreciate the struggle and effort of people living in poverty.
  • Gives the people living in poverty a chance to make their concerns heard – The celebration of this day has always focused on the participation of the helpless themselves in the day’s events.
  •  Gives us a moment to recognize that the poor are the first ones to fight against poverty – It mirrors the readiness of the poor to use their ability to abolish poverty.

This year, the virtual UN event will commence on 15th October 2021 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am Eastern Time (US and Canada) on Zoom. In addition to the New York event to be held today, celebrations of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty are being organized globally. To share messages regarding this international day through social media, use the #EndPoverty and promote the call to action to connect with people worldwide who have joined in the fight against poverty. Ending poverty does not mean just helping the poor – it is giving every man and woman the chance to a life of dignity. It means the transformation of all humanity.

While you read this, take time and put on the lenses to see poverty in both material and mental forms. Take some solid steps to participate in the movement to eradicate poverty. Join the #EndPoverty global campaign.




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