No poverty: challenge and possibility

One of the world’s sustainable development goals is to eliminate all forms of poverty around the world by 2030. Although the global poverty rate has fallen by more than half since 2000, there are still more than 780 million people living below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. More than 11% of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, and the most basic needs such as medical care, education, water, and sanitation facilities cannot be met. Many countries in East and Southeast Asia have made significant progress, but in sub-Saharan Africa, 42% of people still live below the poverty line.


Take Africa, where poverty is severe, as an example. There are three major challenges facing poverty.


Climate change poses a serious threat to Africa’s economic, social and environmental development. Africa has become the continent most affected by climate warming, and many countries often suffer from water shortages, droughts, persistent floods and other disasters. It has had a significant impact on the health, livelihoods and food security of African people.


Because of poverty, the sanitation environment and public medical care cannot be satisfied. Once a virus breaks out, it will be a devastating blow.

For example, Ebola in 2014.There are also tropical diseases such as malaria and HIV that have been fighting for a long time. This brings a vicious circle, poverty makes it impossible to cope with disease, and disease makes it even poorer.


The prolonged conflicts and disputes on the African continent have prevented these countries from focusing on economic development. Poor countries are more affected by corruption, and most development resources fall into the hands of private individuals, exacerbating poverty.

It may be pessimistic to see the status quo in Africa. After all, it is only ten years from 2030. Can humans really overcome these challenges? Asian countries have given us a good proof that we have a great possibility to eliminate poverty.


Take China as an example. China is the first developing country to achieve the goal of halving the number of poor people. Several major poor provinces in China are mainly due to the harsh environment. Surrounded by large and small mountains, it is impossible to trade with the outside world. The land is also not suitable for growing food.

The Chinese government uses its super infrastructure, which is building highways and bridges to create roads between these provinces and the outside world. Nine of the world’s top ten high bridges are currently in China.

It is not enough just to build roads. How can there be no network signal in this Internet age? Building a base station, covering the network, and opening up the network is the second step.

There is plenty of sunshine and powerful wind in those places. Although it is not possible to grow food, it is possible to lay solar panels and build wind power plants. Who says that places, where people cannot live, are useless?

Of course, the Chinese government has also invested in these provinces in terms of education and medical care. Education enables people to earn money on their own and get rid of government funding. Only through education can people realize the importance of knowledge and realize that it is a powerful way to get rid of poverty.

The famous Chinese science fiction writer Mr. Liu once wrote a science fiction novel “Village teacher”. In poor mountainous areas, ignorant villagers consider schooling useless. The rural teacher was seriously ill and insisted on teaching Newton’s three laws for the children before he died. It is precisely the Milky Way’s intelligent civilization to check whether there is still intelligent life in the solar system, otherwise, they will destroy the planet to create stellar blanks to prevent the enemy from attacking. By coincidence, those rural children were selected, and they happened to ask Newton’s three laws. They got it right and saved the planet.

This story also explains the question that everyone cares about: “I am not poor. Why should I care about the economic status of others?” As human beings, the well-being of each of us is closely related. More and more inequalities are not conducive to economic growth and weaken social cohesion, increase political and social tensions, and in some cases also bring instability and conflict. Therefore, eradicating poverty is the common goal of all mankind.


3 thoughts on “No poverty: challenge and possibility”

  1. Monika Kis

    You have a very interesting and well structured post. You touch really important issues. It’s thought provoking to know that the poor and developing countries are the one suffering the most from climate change mainly caused by developed countries. It doesn’t sound fair at all and really highlights our responsibility (and all other developed country’s).

    You presented really well the vicious circle the people are in Africa for example, because of the climate, the different diseases and the situation and social structure the people are stuck in. Poverty truly seems to be at the core and affects so negatively. Conscious decision and allocated resources are needed to fight against it. You gave a wonderful example how the Chinese government addresses poverty and tries to develop the unfavourable areas. Very good point was that even bare, uninhibited places can be used. Education is a long -term investment in the people and in the country. To change people’s mind and the whole attitude, to care for others is a huge step in tackling poverty and other global challenges.

    Thank you for your post!

  2. Hi Angelica,

    I totally understand the situation you mentioned in your blog. In fact, even in China, people who live in modern cities have very limited awareness of how poor rural places are and how many poor people still live in this country. That’s caused recently some people even have been irritated by the prime minister of China due to he claims that China still owns 0.6 billion people whose monthly income is less than 1000RMB (140USD). Therefore besides the measurement to eliminate the poverty issue, we need to take more effort into raising people’s awareness of how poverty is damaging the world even though we may haven’t seen directly surrounding.


  3. Moi Angelica,

    You gave a very logic analysis of challenge and possibility an finally, why should we care about poverty in other region.
    Poverty is the both the reason and result of many problems that face human beings. For example health and growing population. The poorer the region is, the more risky it will expose to virus outbreak. And according to poor economics, poorer people have stronger inclination to raise more children.
    I am proud that China has mede great achiements in eliminating poverty, although many problems still remain.

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