What is Poverty?

A state in which a person lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living. Poverty is when income level form employment is so low that basic human needs cannot be met.

Causes of Poverty?

Some main causes of Poverty are listed below;

Not enough access to clean water and nutritious food:

Currently, 800 million people suffer from hunger while more than 2 billion people don’t have access to clean water at home. People who don’t have access to clean water and food leads to illness like diarrhea, because they simply don’t get nutritious food and when they don’t get the food they don’t have strength and energy which is needed to work and for their health.

Women and girls collectively spend around 200 million hours every day walking long distances to fetch water because clean water sources that are available are located far from rural communities. Girls can use this time working to help themselves later in their life.

Climate Change:

World Bank estimates that climate change has the power to push millions of people into poverty over the next ten years. Many of the world’s poorest population rely on farming and hunting. Climate events like drought, flooding, and severe storms impact these communities already living in poverty. Whenever a natural disaster occurs it leaves millions of people without food, pushes them further into poverty and makes recovery even more difficult.

Lack of Infrastructure:

If there are no roads which can take us to the store or at work or heavy rains have flooded our route which made us impossible to go out then what? What will we do then? Lack of infrastructure from roads, bridges, cell phones, and internet isolate communities living in rural areas. Traveling farther distances to access basic services not only takes time, but it also costs money, keeping families in poverty. Isolation limits opportunity and without the opportunity, it is impossible to escape poverty.

The limited capacity of the Government:

People can access social welfare programs provided by their government if they need health care or food assistance, but not every government can provide this type of help to citizens. The government is unable to provide necessary infrastructure or they do not ensure the safety and security of their citizens in the event of a conflict.

Poor Education:

The illiteracy of parents multiplies the risk of non-schooling. There are a lot of barriers to stopping children from going to school. Many families cannot afford to send their children to school and need them to work; others don’t see any benefit in educating girls. Education opens barriers for jobs, enhances skills but with no education unemployment and poverty increase.

What links Poverty and Poor Health?

Poverty’s effects on health start before babies are born and stay with them throughout their adult lives. They have shaky nutrition, homes filled with stress, toxic environment and with low-income families children never catch up when it comes to their health.

Emotional Health Suffers:

Almost every child who lives in poverty has mothers with at least some symptoms of depression because of the stresses of raising a family in these circumstances. Mothers who are depressed have very different interactions with their children. Those interactions have a lack of stimulation and a lack of emotional connections that we call attachment.

Birth Outcomes:

Infants mortality is the most basic indicator of health and well-being. Babies born with low birth weight are at increased risk of dying in the first year of life. As a group, they have childhood illnesses, neurological problems, and developmental problems. Differences in birth outcomes may be due to factors like low-income level, behavioral and lifestyle factors; such as poor maternal nutrition and health practices, along with lack of timely parental care.

Functional Health:

Functional health like vision, hearing, speech or mobility may affect their performance of certain activities, their ability to engage with other children of the same age. The lowest-income families have more than 2.5 times greater risk of low functional health than children from the highest-income families. Financial pressures of low-income families experience challenges when caring for their children; they are likely aggravated resulting in significant stressors that may negatively impact mental health.

Readiness to Learn:

Children from lower-income households tend to be less prepared for learning and formal schooling and this lack can affect psychological and cognitive development which results in low academic achievement and grade attainment. Children who live in deepest poverty score the worst on vocabulary tests have no confidence to participate in activities. Low parental education and aspirations, lack of educational resources in the home are factors that appear to undermine school readiness.

Ways to end Poverty?

  • Enhance economic growth with targeted action
  • The government should commit to ending extreme poverty
  • Develop national poverty reduction plans
  • Continue to support poorest people through aid
  • Equal education
  • Access to health care
  • Water sanitation
  • Teach children about their rights and how to take active roles within their community
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