Poverty is lack of quality of life. This lack could either be relative or absolute. In any case, lack of worthwhile quality of life is undesirable and life-threatening. Unfortunately, life of billions of people and households in the world today are threatened every second and every day and this is mostly through poverty. Most poor people die in needless circumstances since they could not afford remedies even to the least dangerous ailments or other conditions. Most are homeless, unemployed, sick, dis-empowered and suffer battered self-esteem. In extreme weather conditions and climate change, poor people are the most affected often and they are unprotected and vulnerable. Also, they suffer most of the consequences of civil wars and poor governance.
Families affected by poverty suffer higher death rates, more marriage instability and disorganization while the children are more predisposed to crime. And, the results and outcomes of all these affect everybody even though the poor people suffer it more directly. That is, when homes are broken, families disorganized and crimes increased, the spiral and ripple effects on the society will not only affect the poor ones but also the non-poor. Consequences of crimes for example are far-reaching. In fact, crimes affect the rich more as they are the targets of crime most times and this include violent ones. Against these backdrop, poverty is bad and dangerous for everyone.
Hence, while the problem is most common in Asia, Africa, Latin America and even the Caribbean, consequences of it are also obvious in developed societies especially as enabled by globalization that has interconnected the world and has reduced time and space distanciation. This could be exemplified through migrations and drug trafficking. As poor people from Asia, South America and Africa escape crime and poverty, they engage in illegal migrations and drug trafficking to industrialized nations with huge and dire consequences for countries of destination like America and Europe. Therefore, to end the poverty, the following suggestions should be taken:
1. Ending the problem must be all inclusive to go beyond the poor people and poor nations themselves. The non-poor people and non-poor nations must be concerned about poverty and involved in its solution. Although the international community has been involved all along as could be seen in Gleaneagles’ Make Poverty History Concert to raise money to end the problem in Africa, the G8 Summit and The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), more practical commitments must be made. Ending poverty should go beyond politics and diplomacy to include practical actions and pledges should be translated into concrete actions as consequences of poverty know no bounds.
2. Aside aids and giving of international donations, empowerment of the poor people as persons must be placed on top priority. Programs that will build capacities of the poor people must be initiated and engineered. These programs must go straight to the grassroots and could be through community based associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who are familiar with local dynamics rather than through governments who could divert the resources and corruptly enrich themselves through the support funds.
3. There should be more investment in education to further enlighten the affected people and improve their income generation capabilties.
4. More focus should be put on girl-child education as many suffer Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs) that dis-empower them and endanger their education and capacity to generate wealth. This is important as could be seen in the saying that ‘educate a woman and educate a nation’. The multiplier effects of women education is very crucial and strategic to the issue at hand.
5. There is also the need to enlighten the poor people on the need to build and develop lifestyles that encourage and sustains wealth. This is because experience and research have proved that poor people have lifestyles that perpetrate and perpetuate poverty.