The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was celebrated for the first time on October 17th, 1987, in Paris, in the Square of Human Rights and Freedom – the same place where the Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948. Some years later, in 1992, the General Meeting of the United Nations made this date official in order to give visibility to the high number of people living in extreme poverty – an issue even understood as a crime by Human Rights and, therefore, the obligation of governments to ensure their eradication.
However, poverty eradication now seems increasingly distant. In Brazil, for example, incomes between the poor and the rich are increasingly uneven. According to the National Continuous Household Survey (PNADC), carried out since 2012 by IBGE, it revealed in its last edition of 2018 that the difference between the income obtained by the richest 1% and the poorest 50% is a record among previous surveys. The Gini index, the main indicator of social inequality created by UNDP (United Nations Development Program), also reached the highest level in its series of surveys.
The increase in this inequality is a direct reflection of the recession in the labor market, having a much more pronounced impact on informal jobs that are mostly occupied by people in social vulnerability. In other words, the people who should be protected by poverty eradication policies are precisely those who are most affected. Another fact that reveals it is the regionalization of poverty in the country, which has a concentration of income in the Southeast region of R$ 143.7 billion higher than in other regions.
According to a report in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, the concentration of income in Brazil is even greater than the IBGE survey was able to measure because it is a household sample, in which many people do not mention exactly all the sources of income that they have. The report also analyzes how this inequality is related to structural issues, such as Brazil’s historical slavery and patrimonialism. About this, it is still worthwhile to consult the series of reports made by Folha de S. Paulo on Global Inequality – a rich material for analyzing the problems surrounding the eradication of poverty.
Since the 2000s, the theme has also been on the UN agenda under UNDP. Initially, through a global agenda adopted by the United Nations Millennium Declaration, at which time all UN member states and other international organizations defined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with a goal of achievement by 2015. After 15 years of action, world leaders met at the UN headquarters in New York and decided on a new action plan with more comprehensive achievement goals, creating the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the SDGs (Purposes of the Sustainable Development). The eradication of poverty appears as the first purpose among the 17 topics covered by this new global agenda. SDG1 postulates “ending poverty in all its forms, everywhere”.
Aventura de Construir (AdC), as one of the 104 Brazilian NGOs that participate in the Global Compact, works intensively for the eradication of poverty through direct actions with the public on the outskirts of São Paulo. Through training and assistance to low-income microentrepreneurs, who deal with issues of formalization, professionalization and future prospects in a changing world, AdC enables families to guarantee their sustainability with dignity and quality of life.
On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty we celebrate all the initiatives involved in this cause and congratulate all the people who help to make a difference in the daily fight against social inequalities, estimating that our actions make a difference in the lives of the people who need it most!!!