“Poverty is a natural phenomenon-it cannot be eradicated” Poverty dwells amidst the hungry, within the homeless, dealing with hardships of heat and frost. Poverty is the helplessness felt when the sick are deprived of medical care, when the society drowns deeper into the realms of illiteracy, when the fear of being unemployed forces one into illegal means like corruption. Poverty swells in the tears of the powerless old, reflected in the void eyes of the innocent childhood, trapped in the limbs of the handicapped, in the eyes, ears, voice of the blind, deaf, and dumb.
Although there are many successful attempts in the significant reduction of poverty, in reality, this ‘natural occurrence’ is still a universal existence even in the world today nonetheless. Yet, poverty cannot be considered as a “natural phenomenon”. A natural phenomenon is a non-artificial event in the physical sense, and therefore not produced by humans, although it may affect humans (e. g. bacteria, aging, natural disasters). Common examples of natural phenomena include volcanic eruptions, weather, and decay.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Natural phenomenon certainly aggravates poverty conditions, perhaps may even be one of the causes of the indigent situation. When struck by natural calamities or disasters like in the Tsunami and Katrina, or even the SIDR cyclone that hit Bangladesh only recently [15th November’2007]1, or even when suffering from the spread of decay ad decomposition, people are left in devastated destruction which in due time does lead to notions of poverty in terms of lack of proper shelter, food supply, medical care, protection against the atmospheric changes, and other such essential needs of present mankind.
It is such adversity, not poverty itself, which can be treated as a natural phenomenon. Poverty is one of the most persistent sides of our economic heredity, to some extent, spreading like a disease in the society, feeding on the remains. Around 30,000 people in the world die every day because they are too poor to stay alive2. It masquerades all over the world, changing its disguise from place to place over time.
But unlike natural phenomenon, it can be dealt with by being controlled up to a certain degree, and if the means of poverty alleviation are executed and maintained properly, at one point it can be eradicated. At present there is numerous alleviation programs, eradicating policies, overcoming measurements developed globally to leave poverty behind in the past for the future of the coming years. Such policies have been made and adopted worldwide, literally, and yet, poverty seems reluctant to walk away.
The World Bank’s “Voices of the Poor,” based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, identifies a range of factors which poor people identify as part of poverty. These include precarious livelihoods, excluded locations, physical limitations, gender relationships, problems in social relationships, lack of security, and abuse by those in power, disempowering institutions, limited capabilities, and weak community organizations3.
Here, the problem is not of the means or methods of alleviating poverty but of the proper, effective, and efficient implementation and management of them. That is why some countries have been successful at their attempts in reducing poverty where others are still suffering its effects. Regardless of the causes of poverty, its eradication, even though is challenging, is still possible.
One of the major causes of extreme poverty is said to be overpopulation, which is usually found in small developing countries, mostly in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Korea, China,4 etc. In contrast to India and Bangladesh, both of which are struggling with an overpopulated nation that has an escalating rate of poverty still now, other similarly overpopulated countries like Malaysia, Korea, and China have been able to reduce poverty significantly over time, due to their proper planning, policies, and implementation.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, faces a triple challenge in building a road map for accelerated poverty reduction; firstly, build on past achievements while preventing slippages, secondly, address the multi-dimensionality of poverty through a strategic choice of priorities, and, thirdly, unlock the agency potentials of the nation through an optimal mix of public action, private initiatives and community mobilization.
The policy triangle on which such a road map broadly rests is constituted of pro-poor economic growth, human development and governance. There are eight specific avenues – four strategic blocks and four supporting strategies- through which the goal of accelerated poverty reduction will be pursued. These are firstly supportive macroeconomics to ensure rapid growth with particular focus on stable acroeconomic balances, improved regulatory environment, higher private investment and increased inflow of FDIs, effective trade and competition policies, and, poor and gender sensitive budgetary process; secondly, choice of critical sectors to maximize pro-poor benefits from the growth process with special emphasis on the rural, agricultural, informal and SME sectors, improved connectivity through rural electrification, roads, and telecommunications; thirdly, safety net measures to protect the poor, especially women, against anticipated and unanticipated income/consumption shocks through targeted and other efforts; fourthly, human development of the poor for raising their capability through education, health, nutrition and social interventions; fifthly, participation and empowerment of the poor, specially women, and other disadvantaged and marginalized groups such as disabled, ethnic minorities, ecologically vulnerable; sixthly, promoting good governance through improving implementation capacity, promoting local governance, tackling corruption, enhancing access to justice for the poor, and improving sectoral governance; seventhly, improving service-delivery in the areas of basic needs; and finally, caring for environment and its sustainability. In Malaysia, the main strategy for poverty eradication was providing employment opportunities in higher-paying jobs, while welfare handouts were reserved for the aged and disabled who could not find employment. Since the poor were largely engaged in agriculture, they were encouraged to be involved in modern farming and non-farm or off-farm activities. Another major reason of poverty is found in the lack of development of the country in terms of education, finance, technology, etc. hich theoretically developed countries should not face. Even this argued, since one of the most developed nation of USA deals with poverty, like the developing nations, (although quite less in comparison to South Asian countries) with the number of homeless people and ghettos who either are at a shortage of food or starve for it. All around the globe, poverty exists but several countries, whether overpopulated or developed or not, have alleviated if not completely eradicated poverty. UNDP advocates for nationally-owned solutions for poverty eradication that initially reduce poverty and promote human development to ultimately deprive the world of such destitution5. Their pproach to this is sponsoring innovative pilot projects(like microcredit in Bangladesh); connecting countries to global constructive practices and functional resources; promoting the role of women in the development of the economy; and bringing governments, civil society and outside financers together to coordinate their efforts. Sectors like garments, agriculture, and the cottage industries of developing countries has created and offered so many opportunities for the lower income level of the population that if investments are appropriately utilized further on, they could grow themselves out of the poverty line. A majority of the populace in Bangladesh are concentrated in these economic sectors, thus taking each employee’s family into account, these sectors support almost half its inhabitants alone.
This way thousands of people are spared from the extreme and intense hardships of indigence; and if this keeps up, considering that none of the causes aggravate in due time, the complete eradication of poverty is nigh. Concerned countries all around the globe have already taken the initiative to change the concept that poverty is a natural phenomenon so it cannot be eradicated. In September 2000, 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration, which led to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are a set of eight goals for which 18 numerical targets have been set and over 40 quantifiable indicators have been identified6.
It aims combine panaceas from different nations to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, develop a global partnership for development. Poverty is deprivation, but the deprived can be provided; poverty is deficiency, but the deficient can be made sufficient at the least; poverty is discrimination, but the discriminated can still be neutrally equalized nonetheless. By using such as directly assisting local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create jobs, access to information on sexual and reproductive health, action against domestic violence. ppointing government scientific advisors in every country, deworming school children in affected areas, drugs for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, eliminating school fees, ending user fees for basic health care in developing countries, free school meals for schoolchildren, legislation for women’s rights, including rights to property, compiling with the MDGs, providing soil nutrients to farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, providing mosquito nets and other medical assistance to prevent the spread of illness, access to electricity, water and sanitation, training programs for community health in rural areas, upgrading slums, and providing land for public housing.
But even the most effective and efficient poverty alleviation programs will continue to fail as long as we continue to conduct business in our usual manner. Without bringing about a mental re-orientation to create a new national ethos, based on the virtues of just profits, rewards and punishment, equity, and social responsibility, poverty alleviation programs will be ephemeral photo opportunities, and political campaigns for launching one borehole here ??? and distributing some bags of fertilizers there. Alleviating poverty, in World Bank’s words, must start with the hearts and souls of our people, and become real in programs that make health, education, and social services available and affordable to ordinary citizens.
The diverse means of dealing with poverty serve as near perfect weapons, the only real issue is it’s quite useless to stock up weapons when their usage and utilization are inadequate and unknown. It is only when poverty will cease to be at the mercy of its causes and people will spend half the time they spend on generating ideas for the policies and projects on actually activating them in real use, that this “termite” can be “exterminated”. But, wherever peak-point-poverty may be, whatever the cause may be, however it may be dealt with, poverty is not a natural phenomenon and so it most definitely can be eradicated. REFERENCE www. wikipedia. com www. undp. com