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Poverty: The Worst Global Pandemic

Poverty has no punchline. It's unnatural, savagery, and colossal. When you hear the word poverty, your focus is drawn, to the man on the streets who can't afford to eat or the woman with five children who begs alms to feed- Which is not far from the truth. Poverty goes beyond not being able to eat. It affects the life of anyone it comes across; old or young, small or big, child or adult. It affects the mind, one's ability to work, or becoming the support system to anyone. Malaria, typhoid, or cholera, is no match for poverty. It is the world's worst form of a pandemic. The vaccine that can eradicate it from the world has kept scientists in pandemonium.


United Nations have produced two measures of poverty – Absolute & relative poverty. Absolute poverty is used to measure poverty in developing and third-world counties like Nigeria. Relative poverty is used to measure poverty in developed countries like the USA. In absolute poverty, a line based on the minimum level of income has been created & is called a poverty line. If the income of a family per day is below this level, then it is above the poverty line.


In Nigeria, as stated by the Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report Q2 2015; The upper poverty line is N395. 41 per person annually, which is two-thirds of the mean value of consumption. The lower poverty line is N197. 71 per person annually, which is one-third of the mean value of consumption. The Poverty Line in Nigeria, which is the quantity of income in which anybody below is classified as in poverty. The poverty line being defined is less than the minimum wage of labour workers in 1985, which contributes to the faulty economy.


Poverty affects the life of anyone. You can be rich and have a poor mentality; when you're unable to make the right food and nutrition, you are poor. Your children's inability to attend a good school, get proper medication when they are sick, is an indication that you're poor. Reduced capacity to work further reduces income, making you poorer. Across the world, children from poor homes suffer from poor nutrition, child abuse, child labour, exposure to all forms of crime. Their lives are plagued with diseases that science is yet to find a cure for.


Many define poverty as a situation where the basic needs of a family, individuals, like food, shelter, clothing, and education, are in short supply. Poverty births poor literacy, unemployment, malnutrition, robbery, rape, and even war. When leaders have poor orientations about their duties, obligations, rights, they make unhealthy decisions that plunge the nation into crimes and wars.


Poverty affects the health of a nation's economy. As an economy grows, so do openings for employment and income increase. Lower poverty rates concur with declines in unemployment or increases in income. Studies have shown that the relation between the poverty rate and economic development is strong and intertwined. Though it seemed the relationship gets undermined as years go by, but it's a primary concern to world leaders to date.


The majority effect of poverty on economic development is uniformed. The National Research Council has shown that there has been a uniformly high connection between national income growth and falling birth rates, and between family incomes and fertility. Economists and demographers, on the other hand, approve that vital ingredients of enhanced living standards, such as urbanization, industrialization, rising openings for non-agrarian employment, improved educational levels, and better health all lead to changed parental understandings of the costs, and privileges of children, leading in turn to lower fertility.


There are important differences between countries, and even within countries, regarding the timing and the pace of these changes, but that there, is a causal connection driving from improved living standards to lower fertility is no longer in many conflicts. Poverty is a general concern to the world since it's incidence deals greatly with its population welfare.


Poverty reduction is important to the growth of any economy. In the journal Banerjee et al. (2015)- growth in different regions and sectors of India has helped to reduce poverty rates in the country. The authors’ results, established that income growth in agriculture was essential to reduce poverty in India from 1999–2000 to 2005–2006. Datt et al.


In Nigeria, economic development is playing a critical role in decreasing poverty. The nation has observed an enormous decrease in the income of the masses since the outbreak of the covid19 pandemic. There's been a decrease in income inequality. A reduction in income inequality curtails poverty clasping steady the country’s income level. Despite the substantial growth in the country's economy, poverty remains unrelenting.


The poverty rate of the country begins again to rise amid the growth of the economy. The reasons for this lunacy include jobless development, and failure of poverty alleviation initiatives to address structural transformation required for sustainable growth, employment generation, and bridging income gap within the economy - Rasaki Dauda


While we wait on researchers, economist to find lasting solutions to eradicating the worlds worst form of a pandemic; poverty, below are key recommendations to world leaders on poverty eradication:


. Create employment opportunities, control population, control the number of immigrants coming into their countries, especially when they don't have a strong economy.


. Dependent on agriculture for poverty alleviation should be encouraged and promoted. The government should take all necessary measures to promote all forms of agriculture.


. Promote industrialization to create more jobs. Provide free education for children up to 15 years of age, scholarship to deserving students regardless of their family background. Ensure income equality across the various sectors of their economy and provide subsidized houses to low-income earners.


. The focus should be placed on structural shift, the genuine obligation to good governance, fight against corruption, and provide civic protection for the poor and vulnerable.


. End ethnic dispute and civil uproar. The civil uproar has contributed to the adoption of populist policy measures that work in the short-run but obstruct poverty alleviation efforts.


Lastly, people that are directly not in poverty and those presently in poverty, will be supposedly susceptible to poverty. Poverty alleviating programs should be formed and allowed to function freely. The views of the economists matter a lot and should be adhered to. 


Countries should integrate population strategies and family planning programs in their overall economic development strategies. This will enable them to achieve high, and sustained rates, of economic growth, and also considerably reduce poverty.

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