Skip links

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 17 October 2023

“Building forward together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.”

SDG1. ‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere’.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed each year and aims to raise awareness about people living in poverty.

According to the World Bank the coronavirus pandemic 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”. This year, 2023, the number could have increased to 143 and 163 million with deepening inequalities between the Global North and Global South.

The world summit called on governments to address the root causes of poverty, that the poor have access to productive resources, including credit, education, ethical, social, political and economic imperatives of mankind.

Humanity is at a crossroads, human choices, shaped by values and institutions have given rise to the interconnected planetary and social imbalances we face. Beyond income people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways in their daily lives. 1 in 3 children globally missed out on remote learning when covid hit schools. The Multidimensional Poverty Index shows that approximately two thirds of people who are multidimensionally poor live in households where no woman or girl has completed at least six years of schooling.

Instability and conflict threaten to push millions into poverty. Afghanistan could face universal poverty with 97% of the population living below the poverty line.

It is estimated that by 2030 up to two thirds of the global extreme poor will be living in fragile and conflict affected situations. The resulting poverty from the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Palestine will be unprecedented.

Eradicating poverty is not a task of charity, it’s an act of justice and the key to unlocking enormous human potential. Still, nearly half of the world’s population lives in poverty, and lack of food and clean water is killing thousands every single day of the year. Together, we can feed the hungry, wipe out disease and give everyone in the world a chance to prosper and live a productive and rich life.

The UN Global Goals 2030 Agenda targets us to eliminate poverty by actioning 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first goal, SDG1, is to end poverty in all its forms.

To achieve the target of eradicating poverty by 2030 (2030 Agenda) only 7 years remain. The whole world is seriously below target with the impact of war, climate change, the covid pandemic, the global economy and cost of living crisis. As progress is stilted, the needs of the poor accelerate.

Everyone can help to make sure that we progress this global goal by becoming aware of the seven targets listed under SDG1 to create action to end poverty in all its forms.


The targets are:

1.1 Eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.

1.2 Reduce poverty by at least 50% in all dimensions according to national definitions.

1.3 Implement social protection systems by 2030.

1.4 Equal rights to ownership, basic services, technology and economic resources.

1.5 Build resilience to environmental, economic and social disasters.

1.6 Mobilise resources to implement policies to end poverty.

1.7 Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.

These targets may not be in the reach of many of us but each action you take at whatever level builds up collectively to support the 2030 Agenda. Advocacy is important, be the voice for those that cannot speak. Campaigning and lobbying your MP, local government, the Select Committee is essential to initiate change.

Practically and locally. Can you support a food bank, share a meal or invite a family as a special treat.

Think global and act local.

According to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2023 Report, by 2030 if current trends continue, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty, and only one third of countries will have halved their national poverty levels.

At the moment, many of the worlds vulnerable population remain uncovered by social protection. There is positive change in some areas, in response to the cost of living crisis 105 countries announced almost 350 social protection measures in the last 12 months and world wide countries have increased government spending on essential services, education, health and social protection from 47% in 2015 to 53% in 2021.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Strategic Plan (2022-2025), boldly pledges to lift 100 million people out of multidimensional poverty. This is anticipated by expanding access to renewable energy, creating green jobs and livelihoods while driving down carbon emissions. Thereby making an ambitious commitment to work with partners to provide 500 million additional people with access to clean, affordable energy by 2025.

These contributions represent a fraction of the UN’s efforts across the globe to help communities to build forward better from the devastating pandemic, helping to end poverty and shaping a future that will balance the needs of both people and planet.

Margaret Clark
SI Middlesbrough