HOW TO REDUCE POVERTY

            The only way to get rid from poverty is to take an action. Poverty strikes many people in the world and it can be caused by any reason.

            Almost 18,000 children under 5 years of age die daily around the world mostly because they are too poor to live ( <a href=”https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>World Bank</a> , 2010). As well as starvation makes around 9 million children under 5 years old suffer malnutrition every year (UNICEF). Such situations make us wonder whether there is a solution for them or not?

            There are two ways to reduce poverty; one is to increase the income of poor people and the other is to reduce the inequality between rich and poor. The first way is called “income transfer”, which means giving money or something else of value to poor people (Lundberg & Squire, 1998). The second way is called “spending on public goods”. Public goods are things that everyone can use, such as roads, education, and health care. Governments can provide these things by spending money on them (Lundberg & Squire).

            Income transfers are very important for reducing poverty. They help poor people get out of poverty and improve their lives. However, income transfers are not enough by themselves. They need to be combined with other policies. Poor people often cannot take any action to get out of poverty by themselves, so they require help from others.

            However there are some negative effects that income transfers cause. Some people think that it is not fair for taxpayers to pay money for poor people who do not work (Lundberg & Squire). As well as the government only spends the money on income transfer and can’t spend it on public goods which you be unfair for other citizens who need these goods too (Shaefer, 2012).

            Governments also face problem when they give direct cash transfers. They don’t know how much money will be effective in reducing poverty and whether this amount is too much or too little (Baird et al., 2013). Also, the money given to poor people can be stolen or wasted.

            However, despite these problems, income transfers are very important for reducing poverty. They have been shown to be effective in many different countries. So, it is important that governments continue to use them, and find ways to make them more effective.

            Governments also need to spend money on public goods. This is important because it helps reduce inequality between rich and poor people. When there is less inequality, it is easier for poor people to get out of poverty.

            Public goods are not only important for reducing inequality, but they are also important for economic growth. When countries have good public goods, it makes it easier for businesses to operate (Baird et al., 2013).

            The most important public goods are roads and schools. Both of these things help businesses to operate and make it easier for poor people to work (Baird et al.). However, when there is not enough money spent on education, health care and other public services, they become very expensive. This makes poor people unable to use them because they can’t afford them (Lundberg & Squire). Public goods such as roads and hospitals also need a lot of money in order to run properly and that means the government has to collect more taxes from citizens (Ghani et al., 2014).   

            For example: When we think about poverty-stricken countries like Ethiopia, we only thing of hunger and famine. What we often fail to see or take into account are the other dimensions of poverty which exist in tandem with hunger, such as a lack of infrastructure, education and health services.

            The World Bank defines poverty as “the inability to obtain a minimum level of living standards”, which includes not only food and shelter, but also clothing, health care, education and sanitation. In light of this definition, it is clear that simply providing food and shelter to the poor will not get rid of poverty altogether. Providing these basics is essential, but if we want to eradicate poverty completely, we need to provide more than just the essentials. We need to provide basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, education so that people can learn new skills and knowledge and health care and sanitation in order to prevent avoidable deaths.

            The provision of such amenities is important because they will help the poor to escape poverty through their own hard work (Sevilla, 2010) instead of being dependent on others for sustenance. It will provide a better platform from which businesses can operate and generate more employment opportunities which will create a virtuous cycle of economic growth.

            There may be some negative repercussions if we try to implement policies which aim at providing these things for the poor, such as increased taxation or inflation due to the strain on resources that it may cause, but this should not deter us from our goal of eradicating poverty altogether. In fact, it is because there are potential costs involved that we need the government to work alongside us in tackling this problem.

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