Recap from POP TV 2018 January session with Julieta:
The current status of poverty on a worldwide scale is measured through the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), this index is analyzed on a global, regional and country levels.
In this session, we will share the current status of the fight against poverty reduction worldwide, examining the MPI and explore how activists approach solving Goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals from Agenda 2030. In future sessions there will be chance to explore how to evaluate progress while working on the SDGs.
What is the MPI? *Some highlights chosen
Included in the MPI are measures of income and three basic aspects: education, health and life. Each aspect is further broken down by 10 indicators to evaluate their quality:
- Years of education: the standard measure of access is if any member of the family has completed 5 yrs of education
- Children educated: the standard tracks how many school-aged children are not in school
- Sanitary aid -health
- Child mortality: tracks the number of families that have experienced the death of at least one child
- Nutrition: tracks malnutrition in children and adults
- Quality of life – social life and wellness
- Electricity: measures household access to electricity
- Sanitation: tracks the type of bathrooms, conditions of sanitation, including if families share bathrooms
- Drinkable water: collects data about the access to drinkable water or if the source of water is 30 minutes or more away from the homes
- Soil: observes the type of foundation of homes
- Fuel/Energy for the house : measures types of energy used
- Goods: tracks household access to the following goods: radio, tv, telephone, bike or motorbike
A person is considered as poor if he/she does not have access to at least 30% of the indicators.
In June 2017, a new report was published about the MPI, finding that about half (48%) of poor people within the 103 countries that were documented were children. 2 out of 5 (689 million) children are labeled “multidimensional poor” because they suffer many chronic deprivations.
The new report had a sample size of 5.4 billion people. The MPI found that 1.45 billion people were poor, about 26.5% of people living in 103 countries. Close to the 48% of poor people lives in South Asia, and 36% lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. More than a 1 billion poor people live in middle income countries.
In 2017, more research was added from Algeria, El Salvador and other statistics from 23 other countries including China, India, México and South Africa.
The Department of International Development at Oxford University (a supporter of the MPI), found that almost half of all poor people that show up in the MPI (706 million) experience extreme symptoms of poverty such as severe malnutrition.
This realities shown within the MPI require action. We want to share with you in this session the impact that is being generated through activism and how activists can create consciousness about poverty reduction as a way to build peace.
Activistm today working on poverty reduction
When we talk about activism, and about sensitive topics such as poverty reduction, it is important to know what is being done by activist worldwide. Here are some experiences from other activists and organizations from different areas around the globe:
Argentina -Poverty and health
Corriente Villera is a social organization that was created at a villa in 2014 within Buenos Aires. Conscious of the difficulties inhabitants of the villa faced as people living at or below the poverty line, the organization started its activism petitioning the government for primary and emergency health care.
The organization has not received any help from the government since starting its petition, so they implemented an emergency health service. The organization bought ambulances and has partnered with the emergency aid system and nursing schools. The organization also established soup kitchens in the community.
Ethiopia – Poverty and disability
During my search on poverty and inclusion I came across the interesting story via Light the World organization, about a woman who struggled with these issues and became an activist for others. Yetnebersh Nigussie was born in Ethiopia, where she faced many challenges other girls faced, including early marriage, only, her struggles were made more complex because she became blind. Despite the lack of resources, Nigussie became educated at a Catholic school that accommodated her. As she became a teenager, Nigussie became an active person on topics like inclusion, poverty, gender violence. She then became a university student, where she was a founding member of several organizations, as well as continued to develop consciousness through disability rights activism. Today, Nigussie is a disability rights lawyer and in 2017 ,she received the alternative Nobel Prize.
India- Poverty and the right to food
India is among the countries with highest indexes of multidimensional poverty ,where one of the main indexes to measure is the access to food and water. A lot of leaders, organizations and people in India are aware of extreme urgency that sometimes arises as result of the food and water insecurity, one of whom is Fr. Irudaya Jothi. Jothi is an activist for the right to food, particularly for women, and Director of Udayani Social Action Forum.
The movement for the right to food took stage in 2001 when a lot of people starved and died while food was prevented from reaching the people by a state corporation in charge of public distribution. Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Global Hunger Index rank India as one of many places that have undernourished peoples. In 2013, the National Food Security Act was put in place and provides a theoretical frame based for the public system of distribution.
Calcuta Ondoan NGO, an organization that partners with Udayani, believes that the problem is not a of lack of food, but instead a problems with distribution, inequality and an unfair distribution of resources. Calcuta Ondoan NGO supports more than 5,000 women activists seeking adequate distribution of food that they demand should be based on current laws for food security, the constitution and the rights of the town.
The questions activists often struggle with in India for food security are similar to other struggles: how can vulnerable people be protected from bad decisions made by the local government and/or those in control of resources? It seems that nobody thinks about people people and so, poor people have to think about and organize for themselves. The poor and other minorities are marginalized from the process of development and growth. There is no other choice for poor people than to self-organize and to defend their right to life. The tension is between people living agricultural lifestyles with respect for the land and government interest in the land while holding anti-people politics.
Activist contribution to the process of rights is to educate about the available rights in each of our countries and working to fulfill them. It is a right to speak up and activists should also meditate on the ways to spread awareness but also stay transparent to the people.
Do you know any organization or activists that you would like to share with us?
So why is the end of poverty important for peace building?
Let me start sharing with you an excerpt from the Report of the UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development:
“Without peace, there can be no development. Without development, there can be no enduring peace. Peace and justice are prerequisites for progress. We must acknowledge a principal lesson of the MDGs: that peace and access to justice are not only fundamental human aspirations but cornerstones of sustainable development. (p.52)”
With these words, stable and peaceful societies is a goal in its own right.
One of the best ways to end poverty is to prevent conflicts, as the 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development revealed: 1 in 4 people on the planet live in areas affected by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence.
People in fragile and conflicted-affected situations are more than twice as likely to be under-nourished as those in other developing countries, more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school, twice as likely to see their children die before age five, and more than twice as likely to lack clean water. Half of all child deaths occur in conflict affected areas; I could go on citing many more examples and statistics. All in all, as it is shown, the poorest countries in the world are often the areas with the highest levels of conflicts and violence, making their societies more fragile, which lessens peacebuilding efforts.
The culture of peace is based on an integral approach to preventing violence and conflicts, but also the promotion of sustainable, economic and social development, which connects to the first goal of Agenda 2030 to end poverty.
After this session:
How do you think Goal 1 is affected by the promoting of a culture of peace?
How important do you think goal 1 (end of poverty) is to make the agenda 2030 move forward to a more peaceful world?