Understanding Poverty

Planet Slum

A Norwegian photojournalist from Foreign Policy takes the viewer on a journey through the slums of Nairobi, Caracas, Mumbai and Jakarta. The images capture some of the over 1 billion people in the world who live in slums, run-down areas with substandard housing and squalor. It is estimated that 2 billion people will live in slums by 2030.

Bendiksen, Jonas and Larson, Christina. “Planet Slum.” Foreign Policy. 5 November 2009. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/11/03/planet_slum?page=0,0

Poverty’s Two-Way Street

Poverty is a massive obstacle to development.  This article in the New York Times describes the findings of a recent study by the World Bank.  The Moving Out of Poverty project studied specific cases of poverty around the world and discovered some key truths.  Contrary to a popular image of hopeless poor people, those who are deep in poverty often try and try again in the face of failure after failure.  And poverty is a “two-way street”—although international and local efforts pull millions of people out of poverty every year, millions more also fall in at an alarming rate.  The article details one man the project interviewed; his story shows without a doubt that we need to improve infrastructure and governance (especially on local levels), economic policies, education and its resources, and healthcare if we want to make progress on development.

Narayan, Deepa. “Poverty’s Two-Way Street.” The New York Times. 26 May 2009. 15 Oct. 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/opinion/27iht-ednarayan.html

Millennium Development Goals

At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, 189 Heads of State and government agreed to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  These goals were created to actively combat hunger and HIV/AIDS, and achieve education for all, gender equality, widespread child health, maternal health, environmental sustainability, and global partnership to promote international aid in all areas where help is needed.

“Millennium Development Goals.” United Nations Development Fund for Women. 13 Oct. 2009. http://www.mdgender.net/goals/

TEXT: G20 Final Communiqué—Fighting Poverty

This article introduces the G20’s plans and pledges.  Laid out in September, these plans assert that economic support will be given to countries that need it until a “sustainable recovery is assured.” The G20’s statement argued that although many countries have made great progress in raising living standards and productivity levels, the current worldwide recession is adversely affecting these gains. The group reaffirms its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and to providing funding to programs that help provide clean, affordable energy to developing countries. The G20 recognizes that poverty will not be eradicated solely through infrastructure development. Reducing poverty requires financial security. Thus, the group has agreed to support the spread of new modes of financial service delivery modeled after micro-financing.

Goldstein, Matthew. “TEXT: G20 Final Communiqué – Fighting Poverty.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters. 25 Sept 2009. 15 Sept 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE58O6SG20090925

Hungry to Learn Across the World

This BBC series addresses the fact that many children do not have the ability to go to school because of the costs. The first in a series of features, this article introduces Babar Ali, a 16 year-old student and teacher in West Bengal. He has started his own school for teaching children in his community who cannot afford to go to another school. This article states that many children who live below the poverty line must work in order to support their families and, therefore, do not have either the time or the means to attend school. It asserts that Babar Ali’s school, where he teaches 800 children, while not accredited, is making a worthy effort at reducing poverty in the future by educating children now.

BBC News Online. “Hungry to Learn Across the World.” BBC News Online. 12 Oct 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8299780.stm

Boom in International Trade Fails Workers in Developing World – UN Report

This UN report claims that the recent surge in international trade has failed to improve the working conditions and living standards for many of the workers in poverty stricken areas of the world. The study done by the International Labor Organization and UN Labor Agency says that “informal employment has curbed any benefit workers in the developing world have felt from the boom in trade.” It defines “informal employment” as that of private, unregistered enterprises that are not subject to national law and regulation. Due to the state of the economy, these informal employment practices have even increased in certain parts of the world, especially in Asia. The study supported the proposition of G20 leaders to implement “recovery plans that support decent work, help preserve employment, and prioritize job growth . . . and to continue to provide income, social protection, and training support for the unemployed and those most at risk of unemployment.”

UN News Center. “Boom in International Trade Fails Workers in Developing World – UN Report.” UN News Center. 12 Oct 2009. 12 Oct 2009. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32505&Cr=international+labour&Cr1

WL Logo white on IPJ blueUNDP Pagina Sobre la Pobreza

Lo siguiente es un vínculo a la página de Web del ONU sobre el tema de pobreza.  Allí hay una colección de artículos que tratan del sujeto…


WL Logo white on IPJ blueY sobre reduccion de la pobreza en LatinoAmerica y el Caribe.


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