The cause and effect of global issues.
"It is not hopelessness that causes poverty; it is poverty that causes hopelessness."
The causes of poverty are complex, and interlinked. Historical circumstances, like conflict and wars can create poverty, but even during adverse world events, certain groups of people are more likely to face challenges than others.
Historical events alone do not provide a full explanation. Ethnicity, gender, age, economics, social systems and cultural attitudes all play a part.
On top of these ‘man-made’ differences, geographic location also matters. Where you live in the world, and whether or not that place is prone to extreme weather events – earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, droughts, even climate change – can have a huge influence on whether or not you experience poverty.
Nobody deserves it. Nobody wants it or asks for it.
Poverty is more likely to affect people who live in rural areas. They account for roughly 80% of people who are struggling with poverty. Half of these are children, while women represent a majority in several regions and age groups.
That’s why we continually seek justice, alongside ending poverty. Because this is what those experiencing poverty really need: radical changes to the unjust systems, ideologies and prejudices that keep them locked into disadvantage.
Most of the time, it is a combination of factors that creates poverty, almost all of which are outside of any one individual’s – or even a community’s – control. The important thing to remember is that poverty is not a choice.
It would be impossible to list all the causes and factors that keep poverty alive in our world. Below, you can see some of the main ones that we confront every day, in our work with the most marginalised.
caused by lack of clean water and sanitation and compounded by malnutrition and the uncontrolled spread of diseases.
that can influence internal conflicts, violence or wars and unchecked injustice against indigenous populations.
that can destroy lives in an instant or climate change that can over time uproot the livelihoods of entire communities.
such as systemic racism or inequality related to gender/disabilities that make it more difficult for those affected.
and livelihood opportunities that prevents children and youth from escaping poverty and contributing to their own development.
A deep-rooted global issue like poverty requires comprehensive resolutions that can reach the communities that need them the most. Our work empowers marginalised communities in more than 18 countries to tackle poverty by enforcing sustainable solutions that address its root causes.
Because poverty ties into other issues such as health, climate change and equality, our work in these fields effectively contributes to ending to poverty on a global scale.
We accomplish this by working closely with local communities, identifying the challenges they face and building their strengths and resilience with the support of our program partners.
For example, we worked closely with a community in Cambodia to support those living in poverty and with a disability. Read more about the relationship between poverty and disability.
Our food programs provide vulnerable families with the support they need to build their livelihoods.
We work to empower people with disabilities through skills training and medical assistance to help them overcome poverty.
Our women’s empowerment programs create more opportunities to support women and their families.
Through our WASH initiatives, we create safer environments for communities to build their resilience.
Our health programs help communities fight disease and improve their ability to build their livelihoods.
Through our education programs, we are helping ensure future generations have the skills they need to escape poverty.
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