International Day for Eradication of Poverty today: History, theme

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© Provided by Hindustan Times According to the World Bank, the coronavirus pandemic, which struck the world in 2020, pushed between 88 and 115 million people into poverty. (AFP)

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on October 17 and aims to raise awareness about people living in poverty. According to the United Nations’ website, the day is a chance to acknowledge the efforts and struggles of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognise that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

The day also reflects the willingness of those living in poverty to utilise their expertise to contribute towards its eradication, according to the UN Website.

History of International Day for Eradication of Poverty

The observance of this day goes back to 1987 when more than 100,000 people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger at the unveiling of a commemorative stone by a French priest and humanitarian activist Joseph Wresinski. Proclaiming that poverty is a violation of human rights, such people affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.

Four years after Wresinski’s demise in 1988, the general assembly, through a resolution adopted on 22 December 1992, declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. All states were invited to present and promote activities regarding the eradication of poverty and destitution.

Theme for International Day for Eradication of Poverty

This year’s theme is “Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.”

Covid-19 pandemic and poverty

According to the World Bank, the coronavirus pandemic, which struck the world in 2020, pushed between 88 and 115 million people into poverty “with the majority of the new extreme poor being found in South Asian and Sub-Saharan countries where poverty rates are already high.” And this year the number might have increased to 143 and 163 million.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Friday that extreme poverty is on the rise at present, adding that the pandemic wreaked havoc on economies and societies across the globe. “A lopsided recovery is further deepening inequalities between the Global North and South,” Guterres said.

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