17 OCT: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty :: 2009.10.16 18:53



"Poverty is humiliation, the sense of being dependent on them, and of being forced to 
accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when we seek help." 
-Latvia Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) 1998

"The greatest evils and the worst of crimes is poverty; our first duty, a duty to which every 
other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor."
-George Bernard Shaw


October 17th is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and it is one day in a year where we can actually sit down and try to fathom, to the best of our knowledge and imagination, what being encumbered with powerlessness means, what dehumanising effects are brought upon by living in destitution, what the past decades of poverty reduction strategies have achieved or failed to do, and what we are doing as individuals to lessen the strain on the global poor.

Poverty reduction, whether we participate in it directly or indirectly, should not be regarded as a 
charitable activity. Donating money because you feel bad for the poor or because you feel good about doing a "charitable" act or volunteering because it looks good on your CV is just puerile and selfish. 
Money and wealth is indubitably important as it endows people with material goods and services that were hitherto unaffordable or inaccessible. But in the multidimensional context of poverty, we need to go a step further and think about the intangible―how poverty breaches upon the fundamental rights and freedoms of the poor and obstructs them from leading the life they have reason to value. 

This year's theme is “Children and Families Speak Out against Poverty”
Click here for the Message of the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon




※About the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication poverty and destitution. 

October 17th presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17 th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty. 

Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs