Poverty

Poverty

Overview

Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty
Poverty threshold
The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

 or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs
Basic needs
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty. It attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income...

, which commonly includes clean and fresh water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

, nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.
For most of history poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as traditional modes of production were insufficient to give an entire population a comfortable standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

.
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Quotations

In truth, poverty is an anomaly to rich people. It is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.

Walter Bagehot, The Waverley Novels (1858)

Come away; poverty’s catching.

Aphra Behn (1640-1689), English dramatist, The Rover, Pt. 2. I. (1681)

There is a solitude in poverty, but a solitude which restores to each thing its value.

Albert Camus (1913-1960), French philosopher. ‘Between Yes and No’, World Review magazine, March 1950

There's no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty.

George Farquhar|George Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem, Act I, sc. i. (1707)

For the first time in our history it is possible to conquer poverty.

Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Message to Congress (March 16, 1964)

Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se Quam quod ridiculos homines facit. Poverty is bitter, but it has no harder pang than that it makes men ridiculous.

Juvenal, Satires, iii. 152

The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty.

Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara (1906), preface

Poverty is no discrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient.

Reverand Samuel F. Smith (1808-1895), American Baptist minister and author. His Wit and Wisdom

To be broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe.

Rex Stout, as stated by the character, Nero Wolfe in Nero WolfeThe League of Frightened Men|The League of Frightened Men (1935)
Encyclopedia

Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty
Poverty threshold
The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

 or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs
Basic needs
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty. It attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income...

, which commonly includes clean and fresh water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

, nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.
For most of history poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as traditional modes of production were insufficient to give an entire population a comfortable standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

. After the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 in factories made wealth increasingly more inexpensive and accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture
History of agriculture
Agriculture was developed at least 10,000 years ago, and it has undergone significant developments since the time of the earliest cultivation. The Fertile Crescent of Western Asia, Egypt, and India were sites of the earliest planned sowing and harvesting of plants that had previously been gathered...

, such as fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

s, in order to provide enough yield to feed the population.

The supply of basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government services such as corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, debt
Developing countries' debt
The debt of developing countries is external debt incurred by governments of developing countries, generally in quantities beyond the governments' political ability to repay...

 and loan conditionalities
Conditionality
Conditionality is a concept in international development, political economy and international relations and describes the use of conditions attached to a loan, debt relief, bilateral aid or membership of international organizations, typically by the international financial institutions, regional...

 and by the brain drain
Brain drain
Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as "brain drain", is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals...

 of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

, accommodating business regulations and providing financial services
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

. Today, poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

.

Etymology


The English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 word "poverty" came from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 pauper = "poor", via Anglo-Norman
Anglo-Norman language
Anglo-Norman is the name traditionally given to the kind of Old Norman used in England and to some extent elsewhere in the British Isles during the Anglo-Norman period....

 povert. There are many definitions of poverty depending on the context of the situation and the views of the person giving the definition.

Measuring poverty








Definitions


Absolute poverty


Poverty is usually measured as either absolute or relative poverty (the latter being actually an index of income inequality). Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. The World Bank
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

 defines extreme poverty
Extreme poverty
Extreme poverty, as defined in 1996 by Joseph Wresinski, the founder of ATD Fourth World, is:"The lack of basic security connotes the absence of one or more factors enabling individuals and families to assume basic responsibilities and to enjoy fundamental rights. The situation may become...

 as living on less than US $1.25 (PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) per day, and moderate poverty as less than $2 or $5 a day (but note that a person or family with access to subsistence resources, e.g. subsistence farmers, may have a low cash income without a correspondingly low standard of living – they are not living "on" their cash income but using it as a top up). It estimates that "in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day." A dollar a day, in nations that do not use the U.S. dollar as currency, does not translate to living a day on the amount of local currency as determined by the exchange rate
Exchange rate
In finance, an exchange rate between two currencies is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country’s currency in terms of another currency...

. Rather, it is determined by the purchasing power parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

, which would look at how much local currency is needed to buy the same things that a dollar could buy in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Usually, this would translate to less local currency than the exchange rate in poorer countries as the United States is a more expensive country.

Six million children die of hunger every year – 17,000 every day. Selective Primary Health Care has been shown to be one of the most efficient ways in which absolute poverty can be eradicated in comparison to Primary Health Care which has a target of treating diseases. Disease prevention is the focus of Selective Primary Health Care which puts this system on higher grounds in terms of preventing malnutrition and illness, thus putting an end to Absolute Poverty.

The proportion of the developing world's population living in extreme economic poverty fell from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2001. Most of this improvement has occurred in East
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 and South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. In East Asia the World Bank reported that "The poverty headcount rate at the $2-a-day level is estimated to have fallen to about 27 percent [in 2007], down from 29.5 percent in 2006 and 69 percent in 1990." In Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

 extreme poverty went up from 41 percent in 1981 to 46 percent in 2001, which combined with growing population increased the number of people living in extreme poverty from 231 million to 318 million.

In the early 1990s some of the transition economies of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 experienced a sharp drop in income. The collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 resulted in large declines in GDP per capita, of about 30 to 35% between 1990 and the trough year of 1998 (when it was at its minimum). As a result poverty rates also increased although in subsequent years as per capita incomes recovered the poverty rate dropped from 31.4% of the population to 19.6% The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 issued a report predicting that between 2007 and 2027 the populations of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 will decrease by 17% and 24% respectively.

World Bank data shows that the percentage of the population living in households with consumption or income per person below the poverty line has decreased in each region of the world since 1990:
Region 1990 2002 2004
East Asia and Pacific 15.40% 12.33% 9.07%
Europe and Central Asia 3.60% 1.28% 0.95%
Latin America and the Caribbean 9.62% 9.08% 8.64%
Middle East and North Africa 2.08% 1.69% 1.47%
South Asia 35.04% 33.44% 30.84%
Sub-Saharan Africa 46.07% 42.63% 41.09%


Other human development indicators have also been improving. Life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 has greatly increased in the developing world since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and is starting to close the gap to the developed world. Child mortality
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

 has decreased in every developing region of the world. The proportion of the world's population living in countries where per-capita food supplies are less than 2,200 calories (9,200 kilojoules) per day decreased from 56% in the mid-1960s to below 10% by the 1990s. Similar trends can be observed for literacy, access to clean water and electricity and basic consumer items.

There are various criticisms of these measurements. Shaohua Chen and Martin Ravallion note that although "a clear trend decline in the percentage of people who are absolutely poor is evident ... with uneven progress across regions...the developing world outside China and India has seen little or no sustained
progress in reducing the number of poor".

Since the world's population is increasing, a constant number living in poverty would be associated with a diminishing proportion. Looking at the percentage living on less than $1/day, and if excluding China and India, then this percentage has decreased from 31.35% to 20.70% between 1981 and 2004.

The 2007 World Bank report "Global Economic Prospects" predicts that in 2030 the number living on less than the equivalent of $1 a day will fall by half, to about 550 million. An average resident of what we used to call the Third World will live about as well as do residents of the Czech or Slovak republics today. Much of Africa will have difficulty keeping pace with the rest of the developing world and even if conditions there improve in absolute terms, the report warns, Africa in 2030 will be home to a larger proportion of the world's poorest people than it is today.

Relative poverty


Relative poverty views poverty as socially defined and dependent on social context, hence relative poverty is a measure of income inequality. Usually, relative poverty is measured as the percentage of population with income less than some fixed proportion of median income. There are several other different income inequality metrics
Income inequality metrics
The concept of inequality is distinct from that of poverty and fairness. Income inequality metrics or income distribution metrics are used by social scientists to measure the distribution of income, and economic inequality among the participants in a particular economy, such as that of a specific...

, for example the Gini coefficient
Gini coefficient
The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper "Variability and Mutability" ....

 or the Theil Index
Theil index
The Theil index is a statistic used to measure economic inequality. It has also been used to measure the lack of racial diversity. The basic Theil index TT is the same as redundancy in information theory which is the maximum possible entropy of the data minus the observed entropy. It is a special...

.

Relative poverty measures are used as official poverty rates in several developed countries. As such these poverty statistics measure inequality rather than material deprivation or hardship. The measurements are usually based on a person's yearly income and frequently take no account of total wealth. The main poverty line used in the OECD and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 is based on "economic distance", a level of income set at 60% of the median household income.

Other aspects


Economic aspects of poverty focus on material needs, typically including the necessities of daily living, such as food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

, clothing, shelter, or safe drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

. Poverty in this sense may be understood as a condition in which a person or community is lacking in the basic needs
Basic needs
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty. It attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income...

 for a minimum standard of well-being and life, particularly as a result of a persistent lack of income.

Analysis of social aspects of poverty links conditions of scarcity to aspects of the distribution of resources and power in a society and recognizes that poverty may be a function of the diminished "capability" of people to live the kinds of lives they value. The social aspects of poverty may include lack of access to information
Information access
Information access is a term used to describe an area of research at the intersection of informatics, Information Science, Information Security, Language Technology, Computer Science, and library science....

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, or political power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

.

Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status
Social status
In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society . It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc....

 and inequitable social relationships, experienced as social exclusion, dependency, and diminished capacity to participate, or to develop meaningful connections with other people in society. Such social exclusion can be minimized through strengthened connections with the mainstream, such as through the provision of relational care to those who are experiencing poverty.

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
  • Abuse by those in power
  • Dis-empowering institutions
  • Limited capabilities
  • Weak community organizations


David Moore, in his book The World Bank, argues that some analysis of poverty reflect pejorative, sometimes racial, stereotypes of impoverished people as powerless victims and passive recipients of aid programs.

Ultra-poverty, a term apparently coined by Michael Lipton, connotes being amongst poorest of the poor in low-income countries. Lipton defined ultra-poverty as receiving less than 80 percent of minimum caloric intake whilst spending more than 80% of income on food. Alternatively a 2007 report issued by International Food Policy Research Institute defined ultra-poverty as living on less than 54 cents per day.

Characteristics


The effects of poverty may also be causes, as listed above, thus creating a "poverty cycle" operating across multiple levels, individual, local, national and global.

Health



One third of deaths – some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day – are due to poverty-related causes: in total 270 million people, most of them women and children, have died as a result of poverty since 1990. Those living in poverty suffer disproportionately from hunger or even starvation
Starvation
Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death...

 and disease.
Those living in poverty suffer lower life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

. According to the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

, hunger
Hunger
Hunger is the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience the physical sensation of desiring food.-Malnutrition, famine, starvation:...

 and malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

 are the single gravest threats to the world's public health and malnutrition is by far the biggest contributor to child mortality
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

, present in half of all cases.

Hunger


Rises in the costs of living making poor people less able to afford items. Poor person spend a greater portion of their budgets
Engel's law
Engel's law is an observation in economics stating that as income rises, the proportion of income spent on food falls, even if actual expenditure on food rises...

 on food than richer people. As a result, poor households and those near the poverty threshold can be particularly vulnerable to increases in food prices. For example, in late 2007 increases in the price of grains led to food riot
2007–2008 world food price crisis
World food prices increased dramatically in 2007 and the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2008 creating a global crisis and causing political and economical instability and social unrest in both poor and developed nations. Systemic causes for the worldwide increases in food prices continue to be the subject...

s in some countries. The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 warned that 100 million people were at risk of sinking deeper into poverty. Threats to the supply of food may also be caused by drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

 and the water crisis
Water crisis
Water crisis is a general term used to describe a situation where the available water within a region is less than the region's demand. The term has been used to describe the availability of potable water in a variety of regions by the United Nations and other world organizations...

. Intensive farming
Intensive farming
Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by the high inputs of capital, labour, or heavy usage of technologies such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area....

 often leads to a vicious cycle of exhaustion of soil fertility
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 and decline of agricultural yields. Approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land
Agricultural land
Agricultural land denotes the land suitable for agricultural production, both crops and livestock. It is one of the main resources in agriculture...

 is seriously degraded. In Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to United Nations University
United Nations University
The United Nations University is an academic arm of the United Nations established in 1973, which serves purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The UNU undertakes research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of...

's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa. Every year nearly 11 million children living in poverty die before their fifth birthday. 1.02 billion people go to bed hungry every night.

According to the Global Hunger Index
Global Hunger Index
The Global Hunger Index is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. The GHI measures progress and failures in the global fight against hunger...

, South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 has the highest child malnutrition rate of the world's regions. Nearly half of all India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n children are undernourished, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa as a geographical term refers to the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara. A political definition of Sub-Saharan Africa, instead, covers all African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara...

. Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth. Almost 90% of maternal death
Maternal death
Maternal death, or maternal mortality, also "obstetrical death" is the death of a woman during or shortly after a pregnancy. In 2010, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, estimated global maternal mortality in 2008 at 342,900 , of...

s occur in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, compared to less than 1% in the developed world.

Women who have born children into poverty may not be able to nourish the children efficiently and provide adequate care in infancy. The children may also suffer from disease that has been passed down to the child through birth. Asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

 and rickets
Rickets
Rickets is a softening of bones in children due to deficiency or impaired metabolism of vitamin D, magnesium , phosphorus or calcium, potentially leading to fractures and deformity. Rickets is among the most frequent childhood diseases in many developing countries...

 are common problems children acquire when born into poverty.

Education


Research has found that there is a high risk of educational underachievement for children who are from low-income housing circumstances. This often is a process that begins in primary school for some less fortunate children. Instruction in the US educational system, as well as in most other countries, tends to be geared towards those students who come from more advantaged backgrounds. As a result, these children are at a higher risk than other children for retention in their grade, special placements during the school's hours and even not completing their high school education. There are indeed many explanations for why students tend to drop out of school. For children with low resources, the risk factors are similar to others such as juvenile delinquency rates, higher levels of teenage pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy of a female under the age of 20 when the pregnancy ends. It generally refers to a female who is unmarried and usually refers to an unplanned pregnancy...

, and the economic dependency upon their low income parent or parents.
Families and society who submit low levels of investment in the education and development of less fortunate children end up with less favorable results for the children who see a life of parental employment reduction and low wages. Higher rates of early childbearing
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

 with all the connected risks to family, health and well-being are majorly important issues to address since education from preschool to high school are both identifiably meaningful in a life.

Poverty often drastically affects children's success in school. A child's "home activities, preferences, mannerisms" must align with the world and in the cases that they do not these students are at a disadvantage in the school and most importantly the classroom. Therefore, it is safe to state that children who live at or below the poverty level will have far less success educationally than children who live above the poverty line. Poor children have a great deal less healthcare and this ultimately results in many absences from the academic year. Additionally, poor children are much more likely to suffer from hunger, fatigue, irritability, headaches, ear infections, flu, and colds. These illnesses could potentially restrict a child or student's focus and concentration.

Housing


Poverty increases the risk of homelessness
Homelessness
Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are unable or unwilling to acquire and maintain regular, safe, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country...

. Slum-dwellers, who make up a third of the world's urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 population, live in a poverty no better, if not worse, than rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 people, who are the traditional focus of the poverty in the developing world, according to a report by the United Nations. There are over 100 million street children
Street children
A street child is a child who lives on the streets of a city, deprived of family care and protection. Most children on the streets are between the ages of about 5 and 17 years old.Street children live in junk boxes, parks or on the street itself...

 worldwide.

Most of the children living in institutions around the world have a surviving parent or close relative, and they most commonly entered orphanages because of poverty. Experts and child advocates maintain that orphanages are expensive and often harm children's development
Child development
Child development stages describe theoretical milestones of child development. Many stage models of development have been proposed, used as working concepts and in some cases asserted as nativist theories....

 by separating them from their families. It is speculated that, flush with money, orphanages are increasing and push for children to join even though demographic data show that even the poorest extended families usually take in children whose parents have died.

Violence




According to experts, many women become victims of trafficking, the most common form of which is prostitution, as a means of survival and economic desperation. Deterioration of living conditions can often compel children to abandon school in order to contribute to the family income, putting them at risk of being exploited, according to ECPAT International
ECPAT
ECPAT is an international non-governmental organisation and network headquartered in Thailand which is designed to end commercial sexual exploitation of children...

, an NGO designed to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children
Commercial sexual exploitation of children
Commercial sexual exploitation of children constitutes a form of coercion and violence against children and amounts to forced labour and a contemporary form of slavery....

. For example, in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, a number of girls are turning to prostitution for food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 to survive because of the increasing poverty.

In one survey, 67% of children from disadvantaged inner cities
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...

 said they had witnessed a serious assault, and 33% reported witnessing a homicide. 51% of fifth graders from New Orleans (median income for a household: $27,133) have been found to be victims of violence, compared to 32% in Washington, DC (mean income for a household: $40,127).

Poverty reduction


Various poverty reduction strategies are broadly categorized here based on whether they make more of the basic human needs
Basic needs
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty. It attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income...

 available or increase the disposable income
Disposable income
Disposable income is total personal income minus personal current taxes. In national accounts definitions, personal income, minus personal current taxes equals disposable personal income...

 needed to purchase those needs. Some basic needs, such as improving access to education, may also help increase income.

Increasing personal income


Raising farm incomes is described as the core of the antipoverty effort as three quarters of the poor today are farmers. Estimates show that growth in the agricultural productivity of small farmers is, on average, at least twice as effective in benefiting the poorest half of a country’s population as growth generated in nonagricultural sectors.

Income grants




A guaranteed minimum income
Guaranteed minimum income
Guaranteed minimum income is a system of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test and either availability for the labour...

 ensures that every citizen will live be able to purchase a desired level of basic needs. A more specific policy, called a basic income
Basic income
A basic income guarantee is a proposed system of social security, that regularly provides each citizen with a sum of money. In contrast to income redistribution between nations themselves, the phrase basic income defines payments to individuals rather than households, groups, or nations, in order...

 (or negative income tax
Negative income tax
In economics, a negative income tax is a progressive income tax system where people earning below a certain amount receive supplemental pay from the government instead of paying taxes to the government. Such a system has been discussed by economists but never fully implemented...

) is a system of social security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

, that periodically provides each citizen, rich or poor, with a sum of money that is sufficient to live on. In parts of Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

, where such a program pays only $13 a month, people were able to pay tuition fees, raising the proportion of children going to school by 92%, while child malnutrition rates fell from 42% to 10% and economic activity grew by 10%. Proponents argue that a basic income is more economically efficient than a minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 and unemployment benefit
Unemployment benefit
Unemployment benefits are payments made by the state or other authorized bodies to unemployed people. Benefits may be based on a compulsory para-governmental insurance system...

s, as the minimum wage effectively imposes a high marginal tax on employers, causing losses in efficiency
Deadweight loss
In economics, a deadweight loss is a loss of economic efficiency that can occur when equilibrium for a good or service is not Pareto optimal...

.

In 1968, James Tobin
James Tobin
James Tobin was an American economist who, in his lifetime, served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He developed the ideas of Keynesian economics, and advocated government intervention to...

, Paul Samuelson
Paul Samuelson
Paul Anthony Samuelson was an American economist, and the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The Swedish Royal Academies stated, when awarding the prize, that he "has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in...

, John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith , OC was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism...

 and another 1,200 economists signed a document calling for the US Congress to introduce a system of income guarantees. Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, with often diverse political convictions, who support a basic income include Herbert Simon
Herbert Simon
Herbert Alexander Simon was an American political scientist, economist, sociologist, and psychologist, and professor—most notably at Carnegie Mellon University—whose research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, public administration, economics,...

, Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

, James Meade
James Meade
James Edward Meade CB, FBA was a British economist and winner of the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences jointly with the Swedish economist Bertil Ohlin for their "Pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements."Meade was born in...

, Robert Solow
Robert Solow
Robert Merton Solow is an American economist particularly known for his work on the theory of economic growth that culminated in the exogenous growth model named after him...

, Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, academic, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades...

, Jan Tinbergen
Jan Tinbergen
Jan Tinbergen , was a Dutch economist. He was awarded the first Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1969, which he shared with Ragnar Frisch for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes...

, James Tobin
James Tobin
James Tobin was an American economist who, in his lifetime, served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He developed the ideas of Keynesian economics, and advocated government intervention to...


and James Meade
James Meade
James Edward Meade CB, FBA was a British economist and winner of the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences jointly with the Swedish economist Bertil Ohlin for their "Pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements."Meade was born in...

.

The famine relief
Famine relief
Famine relief is an organized effort to reduce starvation in a region in which there is famine. A famine is a phenomenon in which a large proportion of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common...

 model increasing used by aid groups calls for giving cash or cash vouchers to the hungry to pay local farmers instead of buying food from donor countries, often required by law, as it wastes money on transport costs.

Economic freedoms



In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, it takes two days, two registration procedures, and $280 to open a business while an entrepreneur in Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 must pay $2,696 in fees, wait 82 business days, and go through 20 procedures to do the same. Such costly barriers favor big firms at the expense of small enterprises, where most jobs are created. Often, businesses have to bribe government officials even for routine activities, which is, in effect, a tax on business. Noted reductions in poverty in recent decades has occurred in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 mostly as a result of the abandonment of collective farming
Collective farming
Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise...

 in China and the ending of the central planning model known as the License Raj in India, where GDP grew slower in the 1970s than the preceding 100 years.

The unwillingness of governments and feudal elites to give full-fledged property rights in land to their tenants is cited as one of the chief obstacles to development. The business environment can be further worsened by the failure of governments to provide essential infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

.

Financial services


Another form of aid is microloans, made famous by the Grameen Bank
Grameen Bank
The Grameen Bank is a microfinance organization and community development bank started in Bangladesh that makes small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral...

, where small amounts of money are loaned to farmers or villages, mostly women, who can then obtain physical capital to increase their economic rewards. For example, the Thai
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 government's People's Bank, makes loans of $100 to $300 to help farmers buy equipment or seeds, help street vendors acquire an inventory to sell, or help others set up small shops. However, microlending has been criticized for making hyperprofits off the poor even from its founder, Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit to help its clients establish creditworthiness and financial self-sufficiency. In 2006 Yunus and Grameen received the Nobel Peace Prize...

 and in India which has seen a growing wave of defaults and suicides.

Those in poverty place overwhelming importance on having a safe place to save money, much more so than receiving loan
Loan
A loan is a type of debt. Like all debt instruments, a loan entails the redistribution of financial assets over time, between the lender and the borrower....

s. Also, a large part of microfinance
Microfinance
Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income clients or solidarity lending groups including consumers and the self-employed, who traditionally lack access to banking and related services....

 loans are spent on products that would usually be paid by a checking or savings account
Savings account
Savings accounts are accounts maintained by retail financial institutions that pay interest but cannot be used directly as money . These accounts let customers set aside a portion of their liquid assets while earning a monetary return...

. Lack of financial services
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

, as a result of restrictive regulations, such as the requirements for banking licenses, makes it hard for even smaller microsavings programs to reach the poor. Mobile banking
Mobile Banking
Mobile banking is a term used for performing balance checks, account transactions, payments, credit applications and other banking transactions through a mobile device such as a mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant . The earliest mobile banking services were offered over SMS...

 addresses the problem of the heavy regulation and costly maintenance of saving accounts. Mobile financial services in the developing world, ahead of the developed world in this respect, could be worth $5 billion by 2012. Safaricom
Safaricom
Safaricom, Ltd is a leading mobile network operator in Kenya. It was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone group Plc of the United Kingdom, the world's largest telecommunication company, acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the...

’s M-Pesa
M-Pesa
M-PESA is the product name of a mobile-phone based money transfer service for Safaricom, which is a Vodafone affiliate. It was initially developed by Sagentia before transitioning to IBM...

 launched one of the first systems where a network of agents of mostly shopkeepers, instead of bank branches, would take deposits in cash and translate these onto a virtual account on customers' phones. Cash transfers can be done between phones and issued back in cash with a small commission, making remittances safer.

Remittances



The World Bank says foreign workers sent $328 billion from richer to poorer countries last year, more than double the $120 billion in official aid flows from OECD members. India got $52 billion from its diaspora, more than it took in foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

.

Cultural factors to productivity



Cultural factors, such as discrimination
Discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

 of various kinds, can negatively affect productivity such as age discrimination, stereotyping, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, and caste discrimination
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

.

Max Weber
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 and the modernization theory
Modernization theory
Modernization theory is a theory used to explain the process of modernization within societies. The theory looks at the internal factors of a country while assuming that, with assistance, "traditional" countries can be brought to development in the same manner more developed countries have...

 suggest that cultural value
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

s could affect economic success. However, researchers have gathered evidence that suggest that values are not as deeply ingrained and that changing economic opportunities explain most of the movement into and out of poverty, as opposed to shifts in values.

Increasing the supply of basic needs


Before the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as economies produced little, making wealth scarce. Geoffrey Parker wrote that "In Antwerp and Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

, two of the largest cities in western Europe, by 1600 three-quarters of the total population were too poor to pay taxes, and therefore likely to need relief in times of crisis." The initial industrial revolution led to high economic growth and eliminated mass absolute poverty in what is now considered the developed world. Today, mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 of goods in places such as rapidly industrializing China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 has made what were once considered luxuries, such as vehicles and computers, inexpensive and thus accessible to many who were otherwise too poor to afford them. In addition to industrialization, agricultural technologies such as nitrogen fertilizers, pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s and new irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 methods have dramatically reduced food shortages
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 in modern times by boosting yields past previous constraints.

Providing basic needs




Infectious diseases such as malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 can perpetuate poverty by diverting health and economic resources from investment and productivity; malaria decreases GDP growth by up to 1.3% in some developing nations and AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 decreases African growth by 0.3–1.5% annually. Nations do not necessarily need wealth to gain health. For example, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 had a maternal mortality rate of 2% in the 1930s, higher than any nation today. It reduced it to 0.5–0.6% in the 1950s
1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

 and to .06% today while spending less each year on maternal health
Maternal health
Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.Preconception care can include...

 because it learned what worked and what did not. Cheap water filters and promoting hand washing are some of the most cost effective health interventions and can cut death
Child mortality
Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. In 2010, 7.6 million children under five died , down from 8.1 million in 2009, 8.8 million in 2008, and 12.4 million in 1990. About half of child deaths occur in Africa....

s from diarrhea
Diarrhea
Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

 and pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

. Knowledge on the cost effectiveness of healthcare interventions can be elusive and educational measures have been made to disseminate what works.

Strategies to provide education cost effectively include deworming
Deworming
Deworming is the giving of an anthelmintic drug to an animal to rid it of intestinal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm...

 children, which costs about 50 cents per child per year and reduces non-attendance from anemia
Anemia
Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased oxygen-binding ability of each hemoglobin molecule due to deformity or lack in numerical development as in some other types of hemoglobin...

, illness
Illness
Illness is a state of poor health. Illness is sometimes considered another word for disease. Others maintain that fine distinctions exist...

 and malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

, while being only a twenty-fifth as expensive as increasing school attendance by constructing schools. A study by Oxford University shows that schoolgirl absenteeism could be cut in half by providing free sanitary towels. Also, when women are given more capabilities and opportunities, they seem more altruistic in helping the family and more likely to prioritize education.

Desirable actions such as enrolling children in school or receiving vaccinations can be encouraged by a form of aid known as Conditional Cash Transfer
Conditional Cash Transfer
Conditional cash transfer programs aim to reduce poverty by making welfare programs conditional upon the receivers' actions. The government only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria...

s. In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, for example, dropout rates of 16-19 year olds in rural area dropped by 20% and children gained half an inch in height. Initial fears that the program would encourage families to stay at home rather than work to collect benefits have proven to be unfounded. Instead, there is less excuse for neglectful behavior as, for example, children stopped begging on the streets instead of going to school because it could result in suspension from the program.

Removing constraints on government services


Government revenue can be diverted away from basic services by corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, such as in Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, where its leaders stole an estimated $400 billion of the country's oil revenue. Funds from aid and natural resources are often diverted into private hands and then sent to bank
Bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

s overseas as a result of graft. Preventive measures, according to UNODC, include requiring public officials to disclose earnings and assets and stricter rules on funding to political parties and electoral campaigns. If Western bank
Bank
A bank is a financial institution that serves as a financial intermediary. The term "bank" may refer to one of several related types of entities:...

s rejected stolen money, says a report by Global Witness
Global Witness
Global Witness is an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide. The organisation has offices in London and Washington, D.C.. Global Witness states that it does not have...

, ordinary people would benefit “in a way that aid flows will never achieve”. The report asked for more action from banks as they have proved capable of stanching the flow of funds linked to terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 and money-laundering. A report by the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 found that more than $150 billion a year is taken from Africa through tax evasion by foreign corporations such that the poverty stricken continent is a net creditor to the rest of the world. It estimated that about 30% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP has been moved to tax haven
Tax haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate....

s.

Developing countries' debt
Developing countries' debt
The debt of developing countries is external debt incurred by governments of developing countries, generally in quantities beyond the governments' political ability to repay...

 to banks and governments from richer countries are often more than a country can generate per year on profits from exports. If poor countries do not have to spend so much on debt payments, they can use the money instead for basic services such as health-care and education. For example, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 spent 40% of its total budget to repay foreign debt, and only 7% for basic state services in 1997. One of the proposed ways to help poor countries has been debt relief
Debt relief
Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves...

. Zambia began offering services, such as free health care even while overwhelming the health care infrastructure, because of savings that resulted from a 2005 round of debt relief
Debt relief
Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves...

.

The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 and the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, as primary holders of developing countries' debt, attach structural adjustment
Structural adjustment
Structural adjustments are the policies implemented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in developing countries. These policy changes are conditions for getting new loans from the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, or for obtaining lower interest rates on existing loans...

 conditionalities
Conditionality
Conditionality is a concept in international development, political economy and international relations and describes the use of conditions attached to a loan, debt relief, bilateral aid or membership of international organizations, typically by the international financial institutions, regional...

 to loans which generally include the elimination of state subsidies and the privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of state services. For example, the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 presses poor nations to eliminate subsidies for fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

 even while many farmers cannot afford them at market prices. In the case of Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

, almost five million of its 13 million people used to need emergency food aid. However, after the government changed policy and subsidies for fertilizer and seed were introduced, farmers produced record-breaking corn harvests in 2006 and 2007 as production leaped to 3.4 million in 2007 from 1.2 million in 2005, making Malawi a major food exporter. In the former Soviet states, the reconfiguration of public financing in their transition to a market economy
Transition economy
A transition economy or transitional economy is an economy which is changing from a centrally planned economy to a free market. Transition economies undergo economic liberalization, where market forces set prices rather than a central planning organization and trade barriers are removed,...

 called for reduced spending on health and education, sharply increasing poverty.

A major proportion of aid from donor nations is tied
Tied aid
Tied aid is foreign aid that must be spent in the country providing the aid or in a group of selected countries. A developed country will provide a bilateral loan or grant to a developing country, but mandate that the money be spent on goods or services produced in the selected country...

, mandating that a receiving nation spend on products and expertise originating only from the donor country.
For example, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 is forced to spend aid money on foreign goods and services
Goods and services
In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility. It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax....

 to build a network of railways even though it is cheaper to use local expertise and resources. US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 law requires food aid be spent on buying food at home, instead of where the hungry live, and, as a result, half of what is spent is used on transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

.

Reversing brain drains



The loss of basic needs providers emigrating from impoverished countries has a damaging effect. For example, an estimated 100,000 Philippine nurses emigrated between 1994 and 2006. As of 2004, there were more Ethiopia-trained doctors living in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 than in Ethiopia. Proposals to mitigate the problem by the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 include compulsory government service for graduates of public medical and nursing schools and creating career-advancing programs to retain personnel.

Controlling overpopulation


Some argue that overpopulation
Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

 and lack of access to birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

 leads to population increase to exceed food production and other resources. The world's population is expected to reach
World population estimates
A list of data for historical and projected human population of planet Earth from various sources is recorded here for reference...

 nearly 9 billion in 2040. However, the reverse is also true, that poverty causes overpopulation as it gives women little power to control giving birth, or to have educational attainment or a career. Empowering women
Empowerment
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, racial, educational, gender or economic strength of individuals and communities...

 with better education and more control of their lives makes them more successful in bringing down rapid population growth because they have more say in family planning
Family planning
Family planning is the planning of when to have children, and the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and...

.


Voluntary poverty



Among some individuals, poverty is considered a necessary or desirable condition, which must be embraced to reach certain spiritual, moral, or intellectual states. Poverty is often understood to be an essential element of renunciation
Nekkhamma
Nekkhamma is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" or "the pleasure of renunciation" while also conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, nekkhamma is the first practice...

 in religions such as Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 (only for monks, not for lay persons) and Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, whilst in Roman Catholicism it is one of the evangelical counsels
Evangelical counsels
The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity are chastity, poverty , and obedience . As Jesus of Nazareth stated in the Canonical gospels , they are counsels for those who desire to become "perfect"...

.

Benedict XVI distinguishes “poverty chosen” (the poverty of spirit proposed by Jesus), and “poverty to be fought” (unjust and imposed poverty). He considers that the moderation implied in the former favors solidarity, and is a necessary condition so as to fight effectively to eradicate the abuse of the latter.

See also


  • Accumulation by dispossession
    Accumulation by dispossession
    Accumulation by dispossession is a concept presented by the Marxist geographer David Harvey, which defines the neoliberal capitalist policies in many western nations, from the 1970s and to the present day, as resulting in a centralization of wealth and power in the hands of a few by dispossessing...

  • Multidimensional Poverty Index
    Multidimensional Poverty Index
    The Multidimensional Poverty Index ' was developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative and the United Nations Development Programme.-History:...

  • Bottom of the pyramid
    Bottom of the pyramid
    In economics, the bottom of the pyramid is the largest, but poorest socio-economic group. In global terms, this is the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2.50 per day. The phrase “bottom of the pyramid” is used in particular by people developing new models of doing business that deliberately...

  • 2007–2008 world food price crisis
    2007–2008 world food price crisis
    World food prices increased dramatically in 2007 and the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2008 creating a global crisis and causing political and economical instability and social unrest in both poor and developed nations. Systemic causes for the worldwide increases in food prices continue to be the subject...

  • Climate change and poverty
    Climate change and poverty
    Climate change and poverty link a process and a condition that are interrelated. While the effects of climate change and global warming will have direct effects on the natural environment especially on agriculture, the impact on human civilization is also of concern...

  • Cycle of poverty
    Cycle of poverty
    In economics, the cycle of poverty is the "set of factors or events by which poverty, once started, is likely to continue unless there is outside intervention."...

  • Development state
  • Diseases of poverty
    Diseases of poverty
    Diseases of poverty is a term sometimes used to collectively describe diseases and health conditions that are more prevalent among the poor than among wealthier people. In many cases poverty is considered the leading risk factor or determinant for such diseases, and in some cases the diseases...

  • Distribution of wealth
    Distribution of wealth
    The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth of various members or groups in a society. It differs from the distribution of income in that it looks at the distribution of ownership of the assets in a society, rather than the current income of members of that society.-Definition of...

  • Economic development
    Economic development
    Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

  • Economic inequality
    Economic inequality
    Economic inequality comprises all disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among countries. The issue of economic inequality is related to the ideas of...

  • Economic Vulnerability Index
    Economic Vulnerability Index
    Economic Vulnerability Index is one of the criteria used by the United Nations Committee for Development Policy , an advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in the identification of Least Developed Countries ....

  • Feminization of poverty
    Feminization of poverty
    Feminization of poverty describes a phenomenon in which women represent disproportionate percentages of world’s poor. UNIFEM describes it as "the burden of poverty borne by women, especially in developing countries"...



  • Financial exclusion
    Financial exclusion
    Financial exclusion is the unavailability of banking services to people living in poverty. It is believed to be one factor preventing poor people from exiting poverty, by forcing them to manage their finances on a cash-only basis and restricting their access to equitable sources of credit.Financial...

  • Food security
    Food security
    Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. According to the World Resources Institute, global per capita food production has been increasing substantially for the past...

  • Food vs fuel
    Food vs fuel
    Food vs. fuel is the dilemma regarding the risk of diverting farmland or crops for biofuels production in detriment of the food supply on a global scale. The "food vs. fuel" or "food or fuel" debate is international in scope, with good and valid arguments on all sides of this issue...

  • Fuel poverty
    Fuel poverty
    A household is said to be in fuel poverty when they cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost, given it's income. The term is mainly used in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, although the concept also applies everywhere in the world where poverty may be present.As the term fuel...

  • Full employment
    Full employment
    In macroeconomics, full employment is a condition of the national economy, where all or nearly all persons willing and able to work at the prevailing wages and working conditions are able to do so....

  • Great Depression
    Great Depression
    The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

  • Green Revolution
    Green Revolution
    Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring between the 1940s and the late 1970s, that increased agriculture production around the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s....

  • Growth elasticity of poverty
    Growth Elasticity of Poverty
    Growth elasticity of poverty is the percentage reduction in poverty rates associated with a percentage change in mean income.Mathematically;where PR is a poverty measure and y is per capita income...

  • Hunger
    Hunger
    Hunger is the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience the physical sensation of desiring food.-Malnutrition, famine, starvation:...

  • Immiserizing growth
    Immiserizing growth
    Immiserizing growth is a situation first proposed by Jagdish Bhagwati, in 1958, where economic growth could result in a country being worse off than before the growth...

  • Income disparity
    Income disparity
    The gender pay gap is the difference between male and female earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings, according to the OECD. The European Commission defines it as the average difference between men’s and women’s hourly earnings...

  • Income deficit
    Income deficit
    The Income Deficit is the difference between a single person or family's income and its poverty threshold or poverty line, when the former is exceeded by the latter. Data on the income deficits of various members of a population allow for the construction of one type of measurement of income...



  • International inequality
    International inequality
    International inequality is inequality between countries . Economic differences between rich and poor countries are considerable...

  • International Development
    International development
    International development or global development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human development — the development of greater quality of life for humans...

  • Life expectancy
    Life expectancy
    Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

  • Literacy
    Literacy
    Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

  • Migrant worker
    Migrant worker
    The term migrant worker has different official meanings and connotations in different parts of the world. The United Nations' definition is broad, including any people working outside of their home country...

  • Minimum wage
    Minimum wage
    A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

  • Neo-imperialism
  • Neoliberalism
    Neoliberalism
    Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

  • Poor Law
    Poor Law
    The English Poor Laws were a system of poor relief which existed in England and Wales that developed out of late-medieval and Tudor-era laws before being codified in 1587–98...

  • Poverty reduction
    Poverty reduction
    Poverty is the state of human beings who are poor. That is, they have little or no material means of surviving—little or no food, shelter, clothes, healthcare, education, and other physical means of living and improving one's life....

  • Poverty threshold
    Poverty threshold
    The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

  • Poverty trap
    Poverty trap
    A poverty trap is "any self-reinforcing mechanism which causes poverty to persist." If it persists from generation to generation, the trap begins to reinforce itself if steps are not taken to break the cycle.-Developing world:...

  • Precaria (country)
    Precaria (country)
    Precaria is a concept suggested in the framework of the international campaign of the non governmental organisation Un techo para mi país, in English “A roof for my country “, that designates allegorically an imaginary country, which would be inhabited by all the poor people from Latin America, for...



  • Rural ghetto
    Rural ghetto
    The term rural ghetto was coined by Osha Gray Davidson in the book Broken Heartland: The Rise of America's Rural Ghetto and is used to describe the influx of poverty and neglect in the small towns of Midwestern and Southeastern United States that occurs....

  • Shanty town
    Shanty town
    A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

  • Social exclusion
    Social exclusion
    Social exclusion is a concept used in many parts of the world to characterise contemporary forms of social disadvantage. Dr. Lynn Todman, director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, suggests that social exclusion refers to processes in which...

  • Subsidized housing
  • Street children
    Street children
    A street child is a child who lives on the streets of a city, deprived of family care and protection. Most children on the streets are between the ages of about 5 and 17 years old.Street children live in junk boxes, parks or on the street itself...

  • Structural adjustment
    Structural adjustment
    Structural adjustments are the policies implemented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in developing countries. These policy changes are conditions for getting new loans from the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, or for obtaining lower interest rates on existing loans...

  • Theories of poverty
    Theories of poverty
    Theories on the causes of poverty are the foundation upon which poverty reduction strategies are based.While in developed nations poverty is often seen as either a personal or a structural defect, in developing nations the issue of poverty is more profound due to the lack of governmental funds...

  • Underclass
    Underclass
    The term underclass refers to a segment of the population that occupies the lowest possible position in a class hierarchy, below the core body of the working class. The general idea that a class system includes a population under the working class has a long tradition in the social sciences...

  • Welfare
  • Working poor
    Working poor
    - Definition in the United States :There are several popular definitions of "working poor" in the United States. According to the US Department of Labor, the working poor "are persons who spent at least 27 weeks [in the past year] in the labor force , but whose incomes fell below the official...


Nations:

Theology:
  • Relational care
  • Sadaqah
    Sadaqah
    or Saddka is an Islamic term that means "voluntary charity".This concept encompasses any act of giving out of compassion, love, friendship or generosity.-Hadith on Sadaqah/Saddka:...

  • Zakat
    Zakat
    Zakāt , one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a fixed portion of one's wealth to charity, generally to the poor and needy.-History:Zakat, a practice initiated by Muhammed himself, has played an important role throughout Islamic history...


Organizations and campaigns


  • Abahlali baseMjondolo
    Abahlali baseMjondolo
    Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

     – South African Shack dwellers' organisation
  • Appropedia
    Appropedia
    Appropedia is a website for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development, with a particular focus on appropriate technology. Appropedia is a wiki-based website like Wikipedia, a website where a large number of participants are allowed to create and...

  • Azafady
    Azafady
    Azafady is a registered UK charity and Malagasy non-governmental organisation, established in 1994, working in southeast Madagascar to alleviate poverty, improve well-being and protect unique environments...

  • Brooks World Poverty Institute
    Brooks World Poverty Institute
    The Brooks World Poverty Institute is a research centre connected to the University of Manchester dedicated to multidisciplinary research on poverty, inequality and growth. It was created in 2005 following the donation of £1.3 million to the university by the Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation,...

  • Catholic Charities USA
    Catholic Charities
    Catholic Charities is a network of charities whose aim is "to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same." It is one of the largest charities in the United States...

  • Center for Global Development
    Center for Global Development
    The Center for Global Development is a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on international development. It was founded in November 2001 by former senior U.S. official Edward W. Scott, director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, C. Fred Bergsten, and...

  • Child Poverty Action Group
    Child Poverty Action Group
    Child Poverty Action Group is a UK charity that works to alleviate poverty and social exclusion.The stated aims of the CPAG are:CPAG programs include:* Research and publish the latest facts and figures of family and child poverty in the UK...

  • Compassion Canada
  • Compassion International
    Compassion International
    Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, functions in 26 countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Haiti, Kenya, and...

  • Department for International Development
    Department for International Development
    The Department For International Development is a United Kingdom government department with a Cabinet Minister in charge. It was separated from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997. The goal of the department is "to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty". The current...

  • End Poverty Now
    End Poverty Now
    End Poverty Now is a nongovernmental, non profit advocacy organization dedicated to the alleviation of poverty both locally and worldwide. It is based in Montreal, Canada and was formed in 2004 by Ross Margulies and Nejeed Kassam, two students at McGill University...

  • Eurodad
    Eurodad
    Eurodad is a network of 58 non-governmental organisations from 19 European countries. Eurodad and its members make up a network, this network researches and works on issues that are related to debt, development finance and poverty reduction.Recently this network has focussed on issues such as...

  • Food First
    Food First
    Food First, also known as the Institute for Food and Development Policy, is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, USA. Founded in 1975 by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins, it describes itself as a "people's think tank and education-for-action center".Its mission is “to...

  • Five Talents
    Five Talents
    Five Talents is a Christian Microfinance charity. It provides loans to groups of entrepreneurs, and also offers business training and mentoring to clients...

     – Gives poverty stricken people another chance
  • Free the Children
    Free The Children
    Free The Children is an international charity and youth movement founded in 1995 by children's rights advocate Craig Kielburger. The organization is largely youth-funded, based on the concept of "children helping children." It specializes in sustainable development in countries of Kenya, Ecuador,...

  • Grameen Bank
    Grameen Bank
    The Grameen Bank is a microfinance organization and community development bank started in Bangladesh that makes small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral...

     A micro lending bank for the poor.
  • Global Call to Action Against Poverty
    Global Call to Action Against Poverty
    The Global Call to Action Against Poverty is a growing worldwide alliance consisting of national coalitions of campaigns to end poverty....

     (GCAP)
  • Habitat for Humanity International
    Habitat for Humanity International
    Habitat For Humanity International , generally referred to as Habitat for Humanity or simply Habitat, is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to building "simple, decent, and affordable" housing, a self-described "Christian housing ministry." The international...

  • Harlem Children's Zone
    Harlem Children's Zone
    The Harlem Children's Zone is a non-profit organization for poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem, providing free support for the children and families in the form of parenting workshops, a pre-school program, three public charter schools, and child-oriented health programs for...

  • Homeless International
    Homeless International
    Homeless International is a British NGO focusing on urban poverty issues in the developing world. It is a membership organisation registered both as a charity and a company limited by guarantee, with many members being UK housing associations.- History :...

  • 17 October: UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (White Band Day 4)


  • IFAD Vietnam
    IFAD Vietnam
    The International Fund for Agricultural Development is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in Vietnam and other developing countries...

  • International Food Policy Research Institute
    International Food Policy Research Institute
    The International Food Policy Research Institute is an international agricultural research center founded in the early 1970s to improve the understanding of national agricultural and food policies to promote the adoption of innovations in agricultural technology...

  • International Fund for Agricultural Development
    International Fund for Agricultural Development
    The International Fund for Agricultural Development , a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries...

  • Islamic Development Bank
    Islamic Development Bank
    The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded by the first conference of Finance Ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference , convened 23 Dhu'l Qa'dah 1393 AH.The bank officially began its activities on...

  • Islamic Relief
    Islamic Relief
    Islamic Relief Worldwide is a Muslim international relief and development organization consisting of a family of 15 aid agencies that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people...

  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    Southern Poverty Law Center
    The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization noted for its legal victories against white supremacist groups; legal representation for victims of hate groups; monitoring of alleged hate groups, militias and extremist organizations; and educational programs that...

  • Tear Fund
  • The Make Poverty History
    Make Poverty History
    Make Poverty History is the name of a campaign that exists in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark , Finland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Ireland...

     campaign
  • Mercy Ships
    Mercy Ships
    Mercy Ships is an international charity that was founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens. Mercy Ships currently operates the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world, providing free health care, community development projects, community health education, mental health programs,...

  • Microgiving Direct charitable giving
  • Mississippi Teacher Corps
    Mississippi Teacher Corps
    The Mississippi Teacher Corps is a two-year teaching program that recruits college graduates to teach in "critical-need areas" of Mississippi...

  • ONE campaign
    ONE Campaign
    The ONE Campaign is an international, nonpartisan, non-profit organization which aims to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid programs....

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • United Nations Millennium Campaign
    United Nations Millennium Campaign
    The United Nations Millennium Campaign is a UN campaign unit that was set up in response to the Millennium Declaration signed by 189 member states. Established in October, 2002, the UNMC aims to increase support to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and seek a coalition of partners for action...

  • United Prosperity (organisation)
    United Prosperity (organisation)
    United Prosperity is a not-for-profit Web-based microcredit organisation.Unlike most microcredit or person-to-person lending organisations, United Prosperity does not directly lend to the micro-entrepreneur, but instead the micro-loans are used to provide a guarantee to a local bank, which lends to...

  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • World Bank
    World Bank
    The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

  • World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists
    World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists
    The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists , was formed to help Islamic donors and nonprofit groups and other Muslims around the globe to organize contributions to humanitarian causes. It estimates that Muslims contribute anywhere from $20 billion to $200 billion annually. Much of the charity...

  • World Food Day
    World Food Day
    World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945...

  • World Food Program
  • World Vision
    World Vision
    World Vision, founded in the USA in 1950, is an evangelical relief and development organization whose stated goal is "to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of...


In documentary photography and film


Authors with significant work:
  • Diane Arbus
    Diane Arbus
    Diane Arbus March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal." A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid.....

  • Richard Avedon
    Richard Avedon
    Richard Avedon was an American photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century."-Photography career:Avedon was born in New York City to a Jewish Russian...

  • Jim Goldberg
    Jim Goldberg
    Jim Goldberg is an American photographer and writer whose work reflects long-term, in-depth collaborations with neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations.-Artistic career:...

  • Dorothea Lange
    Dorothea Lange
    Dorothea Lange was an influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration...

  • Manuel Rivera-Ortiz
    Manuel Rivera-Ortiz
    Manuel Rivera-Ortiz is an American documentary photographer of Puerto Rican descent, the author of several photographic collections and the recipient of a number of awards. He is best known for his documentary photographs of people's living conditions in less developed countries...

  • Sebastião Salgado
    Sebastião Salgado
    Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist.-Biography:Salgado was born on February 8, 1944 in Aimorés, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. After a somewhat itinerant childhood, Salgado initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in...

  • Tom Stone
    Tom Stone (photographer)
    Tom Stone is an American photographer. His work depicts the discrepancy between the American dream and the American reality, clearly captured through the telling faces of those living on the fringes of society...


Significant titles:
  • Born into Brothels
    Born into Brothels
    Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids is a 2004 American documentary film about the children of prostitutes in Sonagachi, Kolkata's red light district...

    (2004)
  • Harlan County, USA
    Harlan County, USA
    Harlan County, USA is an Oscar-winning 1976 documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike" or "Bloody Harlan", an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1973...

    (1976)
  • Streetwise (1984)

Further reading

  • Adato, Michelle & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, eds. http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/9358.htmlAgricultural Research, Livelihoods, and Poverty: Studies of Economic and Social Impacts in Six Countries (2007), Johns Hopkins University Press
    Johns Hopkins University Press
    The Johns Hopkins University Press is the publishing division of the Johns Hopkins University. It was founded in 1878 and holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously running university press in the United States. The Press publishes books, journals, and electronic databases...

    , International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Anzia, Lys "Educate a Woman, You Educate a Nation" – South Africa Aims to Improve its Education for Girls WNN – Women News Network. Aug. 28, 2007.
  • Atkinson, Anthony. Poverty in Europe 1998
  • Banerjee, Abhijit & Esther Duflo, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011)
  • Bergmann, Barbara. "Deciding Who's Poor", Dollars & Sense
    Dollars & Sense
    Dollars & Sense is a magazine dedicated to providing left-wing perspectives on economics.Published six times a year since 1974, it is edited by a collective of economists, journalists, and activists committed to the ideals of social justice and economic democracy.It was initially sponsored by the...

    , March/April 2000
  • Betson, David M. & Warlick, Jennifer L. "Alternative Historical Trends in Poverty." American Economic Review 88:348–51. 1998. in JSTOR
  • Brady, David "Rethinking the Sociological Measurement of Poverty" Social Forces 81#3 2003, pp. 715–751 Online in Project Muse. Abstract: Reviews shortcomings of the official U.S. measure; examines several theoretical and methodological advances in poverty measurement. Argues that ideal measures of poverty should: (1) measure comparative historical variation effectively; (2) be relative rather than absolute; (3) conceptualize poverty as social exclusion; (4) assess the impact of taxes, transfers, and state benefits; and (5) integrate the depth of poverty and the inequality among the poor. Next, this article evaluates sociological studies published since 1990 for their consideration of these criteria. This article advocates for three alternative poverty indices: the interval measure, the ordinal measure, and the sum of ordinals measure. Finally, using the Luxembourg Income Study
    Luxembourg Income Study
    The Luxembourg Income Study, asbl is a non-profit project which produces a cross-national database of micro-economic income data for social science research. The project started in 1983 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. In 2006 the database included data from 30 countries on four continents,...

    , it examines the empirical patterns with these three measures, across advanced capitalist democracies from 1967 to 1997. Estimates of these poverty indices are made available.
  • Buhmann, Brigitte, et al. 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates Across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database." Review of Income and Wealth 34:115–42.
  • Cox, W. Michael & Alm, Richard. Myths of Rich and Poor 1999
  • Danziger, Sheldon H. & Weinberg, Daniel H. "The Historical Record: Trends in Family Income, Inequality, and Poverty." Pp. 18–50 in Confronting Poverty: Prescriptions for Change, edited by Sheldon H. Danziger, Gary D. Sandefur, and Daniel. H. Weinberg. Russell Sage Foundation. 1994.
  • Firebaugh, Glenn. "Empirics of World Income Inequality." American Journal of Sociology (2000) 104:1597–1630. in JSTOR
  • Frank, Ellen, Dr. Dollar: How Is Poverty Defined in Government Statistics? Dollars & Sense
    Dollars & Sense
    Dollars & Sense is a magazine dedicated to providing left-wing perspectives on economics.Published six times a year since 1974, it is edited by a collective of economists, journalists, and activists committed to the ideals of social justice and economic democracy.It was initially sponsored by the...

    , January/February 2006
  • Gans, Herbert J.
    Herbert J. Gans
    Herbert J. Gans is an American sociologist who has taught at Columbia University since 1971, retiring in 2007.One of the most prolific and influential sociologists of his generation, Gans came to America in 1940 as a refugee from Nazism and has sometimes described his scholarly work as an...

    , "The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All", Social Policy, July/August 1971: pp. 20–24
  • George, Abraham
    Abraham George
    Dr. Abraham M. George is a Indian-American businessman, academic, and philanthropist. He is the founder of The George Foundation , a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India dedicated to the welfare and empowerment of economically and socially disadvantaged populations in India...

    , Wharton Business School Publications – Why the Fight Against Poverty is Failing: a contrarian view
  • Gordon, David M. Theories of Poverty and Underemployment: Orthodox, Radical, and Dual Labor Market Perspectives. 1972.
  • Haveman, Robert H. Poverty Policy and Poverty Research. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press
    University of Wisconsin Press
    The University of Wisconsin Press is a non-profit university press publishing peer-reviewed books and journals. It primarily publishes work by scholars from the global academic community but also serves the citizens of Wisconsin by publishing important books about Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, and...

     1987 ISBN 0-299-11150-4
  • Iceland, John Poverty in America: a handbook University of California Press, 2003
  • McEwan, Joanne, and Pamela Sharpe, eds. Accommodating Poverty: The Housing and Living Arrangements of the English Poor, c. 1600–1850 (Palgrave Macmillan; 2010) 292 pages; scholarly studies of rural and urban poor, as well as vagrants, unmarried mothers, and almshouse dwellers.
  • O'Connor, Alice "Poverty Research and Policy for the Post-Welfare Era" Annual Review of Sociology, 2000
  • Osberg, Lars & Xu, Kuan. "International Comparisons of Poverty Intensity: index decomposition and bootstrap inference." The Journal of Human Resources 2000. 35:51–81.
  • Paugam, Serge. "Poverty and Social Exclusion: a sociological view." Pp. 41–62 in The Future of European Welfare, edited by Martin Rhodes and Yves Meny, 1998.
  • Philippou, Lambros (2010) "Public Space, Enlarged Mentality and Being-In-Poverty", Philosophical Inquiry, Vol. 32, No. 1–2 pp. 103–115.
  • Pressman, Steven
    Steven Pressman (economist)
    Steven Pressman is an American economist. He is currently a Professor of Economics and Finance at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ...

    , Poverty in America: an annotated bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1994 ISBN 0-8108-2833-2
  • Rothman, David J., (editor). The Almshouse Experience (Poverty U.S.A.: the Historical Record). New York: Arno Press, 1971. ISBN 0-405-03092-4Reprint of Report of the committee appointed by the Board of Guardians of the Poor of the City and Districts of Philadelphia to visit the cities of Baltimore, New York, Providence, Boston, and Salem (published in Philadelphia, 1827); Report of the Massachusetts General Court's Committee on Pauper Laws (published in [Boston?], 1821); and the 1824 Report of the New York Secretary of State on the relief and settlement of the poor (from the 24th annual report of the New York State Board of Charities, 1901).
  • Sen, Amartya
    Amartya Sen
    Amartya Sen, CH is an Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory, and for his interest in the problems of society's poorest members...

     Poverty and Famines: an essay on entitlement and deprivation. Oxford: Clarendon Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , 1981
  • Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom. New York: Knopf, 1999
  • Smeeding, Timothy M., O'Higgins, Michael & Rainwater, Lee. Poverty, Inequality and Income Distribution in Comparative Perspective. Urban Institute Press 1990.
  • Smith, Stephen C.
    Stephen C. Smith
    Stephen C. Smith is an economist, author, and educator. He is Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy at George Washington University, where he is also Professor of Economics and International Affairs.-Background:...

    , Ending Global Poverty: a guide to what works, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
  • Triest, Robert K. "Has Poverty Gotten Worse?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 1998. 12:97–114.
  • Wilson, Richard & Pickett, Kate. The Spirit Level, London: Allen Lane, 2009
  • World Bank: "Can South Asia End Poverty in a Generation?"
  • World Bank
    World Bank Group
    The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

    , "World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work For Poor People", 2004.

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