World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty

Quick Facts

AKA NameInternational Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Hashtags#DevInfoDay
2019 Date17 October 2019
2020 Date17 October 2020
World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty

World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty History

World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty serves to generate awareness of world poverty and destitution. Poverty can be relative, a standard which is determined by individual governments, or it can be absolute, which is synonymous with destitution, meaning that a person cannot meet basic life needs, such as food, water, clothing and shelter. Today, almost half of the world’s population live on less than $2.50 per day and more than 1.3 billion live on less than $1.25 per day.

World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty was first commemorated in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered at the Trocadero, a famous area of Paris, to honour those who are victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear. The initiative was launched by Father Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, an organization dedicated to eradicating world poverty. It wasn't until 1992 that World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty was officially recognised by the United Nations however the United Nations celebrates the day under the name International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This holiday is observed annually on October 17th.

World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty Facts & Quotes

  • The proposed themes for World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty 2018 are Ensuring that human rights are a reality for all: overcoming together the challenges of reaching those furthest behind. and Coming together with those furthest behind to build a world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.
  • Preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia kill 2 million children a year who could not afford treatment; or did not have access to universal healthcare. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty
  • The Gini coefficient measures the inequality of a society by looking at the income distribution of a data set. A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality whilst a coefficient of one hundred means maximum inequality. France has a Gini of 33.1, Germany 30.1, the UK 32.6 and the US 41.1
  • This year’s observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty falls as the world embarks on a bold new path towards a future of dignity for all guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • 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. – Joseph Wresinski (1917–1988) founder of ATD Fourth World

World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty Top Events and Things to Do

  • Poverty is economic, social, political and cultural in nature so instead of donating food and clothing, donate something that can help the social and cultural aspect of poverty in your community. Go through your things and donate old toys, books, sports equipment and household items to a local charity.
  • Learn about economics, a social science that studies the way that people choose to use their resources. Understanding the basics of economics can help you further understand world poverty and what you can do to help.Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang is a good introduction to the different schools of thought.
  • Watch a film or documentary which covers inequality across the spectrum - the very rich, the very poor and those in the middle. Our favourite picks: Living on One Dollar (2013), The Big Short (2015), Slumdog Millionaire (2008) or Give Us The Money. (2012).
  • Reflect on your daily life. Take time to appreciate food, water, shelter, clothing, education, your computer/phone, social activities and sports. Remember that nearly half of the world's population live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • Research relative poverty in your city or country to find out what your government has determined to be an average level of life for you and your fellow citizens. Relative poverty, which is determined by a person's average economic surroundings, differs from country to country and changes over time.

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