Eradicating poverty 


The International Day of Poverty Eradication was observed yesterday which gave occasion to the leaders of the developing countries to take stock of the level of poverty that exists in their individual society, and adopt effective programmes with a view to eliminating the scourge that deters all attempts at development and progress. The spectre of abject poverty continues to stalk countries like Bangladesh where experimentation with different ideas towards poverty alleviation is yet to produce substantial results. It has been estimated by the UNDP that about one-fifth of 4.4 billion in the developing countries are malnourished; 1.3 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and poor households spend half their income on food. The organisation also estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an additional $13 billion a year, and though food production increased by 25 per cent between 1990 and 1997, one in every five people in the world's poorest nations remains malnourished. In the present global situation, individual income in the form of salary or wages is not considered as the only indicator of poverty. The investments in and commitments to education, environment, health and sanitation are all taken into consideration before determining the level of poverty that exists in a society and hence any attempt at alleviation of the condition will have to pervade all the related aspects. Bangladesh has experienced some success in her endeavours in eradicating poverty, especially through the involvement of the rural women, but a lot more is required to be done if the problem that affects a large population is to be addressed effectively. In fact the size of population is the major obstacle to attaining the desired goal in this country. Bangladesh is the pioneer in trying out the concept of micro-credit as a tool for eradicating poverty of the rural poor. Some big NGOs have created a network over the decades throughout the country to make micro-credit accessible to rural poor, especially to poor women, as an opportunity at self-employment. Despite all the activities that are going on in Bangladesh in the education, commerce, health and environment sector, the country still remains at the bottom of the development graph. Overpopulation and frequent natural disasters are sapping the country's limited resources. The social and political leaders must join hands to work with one aim in view-eradication of poverty with better plans.

Source: The Daily Independent, Dhaka, October 18, 1999
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