A Call to Action
World Poverty Day, formally known as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, is held annually on October 17. It is an international day to raise awareness about the need to end global poverty in all its forms everywhere.
World Poverty Day was first observed on October 17, 1987, as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. Five years later the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared poverty a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to deliberately work toward respecting the rights of the poor and reducing poverty rates worldwide.
"Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty." — Father Joseph Wresinski
World Poverty Day aims to promote dialogue and understanding among people below the poverty line, the communities they live in and in the world community at large. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the struggles of poor people and gives them a platform and audience to have their issues, needs and concerns heard.
Extreme Poverty and COVID-19
COVID-19 is reversing decades of progress made in the fight against destitution in low- and middle-income countries* around the world.
Malnutrition, starvation and chronic health issues are a serious and potentially life-threatening reality for children living in poverty, and food security has become a more severe risk for the poor.
The World Food Program estimates that 265 million people will soon be on the brink of starvation because of the novel coronavirus.
The lack of employment during the pandemic makes it difficult or impossible to purchase food, and as the global supply chain breaks down, many communities experience shortages in their food supply. The poor are hardest hit when this happens, and when food is available, the costs are rising — heightening the struggle as employment and income sources are drying up.
COVID-19 is no longer just a global health crisis; it is an economic and food security emergency for hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty around the world.