Wednesday, 27 February 2013 19:46

Julian Omidi Reports on Recent Poverty News - February 2013

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Julian Omidi looks at some of the most recent news related to poverty including the TED Talk provided by Bono, poverty in China, and the rate of absenteeism in high-poverty areas. 

One of the best things that we can do to spread awareness about poverty is to share the latest news related to the issue. Here are some of the top headlines surrounding poverty in February 2013.

Bono Gives TED Talk

For those of you unfamiliar with TED, it is a nonprofit that encompasses a broad range of topics in some way related to Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED). While the first conference was held in 1984 it has gained wider notoriety and tackled a wider scope of issues in the years since its foundation. Although it is still based upon it's bi-annual conferences on the West Coast each spring and in Edinburgh each summer, TED has started many other initiatives in order to promote "Ideas Worth Spreading."

On February 26th Bono provided a TED Talk in California that focused on the facts about poverty. According to the presentation he gave (which by most accounts was filled with data and statistics) he illuminated the audience to the progress that has been made in the fight against poverty in the last 20 years. Some of the statistics he provided in the talk included:

  • Since 2000 deaths caused by malaria have decreased 75%
  • Eight million AIDS patients have received retroviral drugs
  • The decline in extreme poverty between 1990 and 2000 was 10% and dropped an additional 12% between 2000 and 2010
  • If poverty continues to fall at this rate extreme poverty could be eliminated as early as 2030

As the singer noted, the most important part of defeating poverty is knowing that this is a goal that can be achieved, something that we agree with whole-heartedly at No More Poverty. [1]

 

Strides Made Against Poverty in China

China's State Council announced yesterday that the number of rural poor had decreased by 22.39 million to 98.99 million rural dwellers. While this number is certainly still exceptionally high it is still a remarkable rate of progress. [2]

 

Poverty and School Absences

According to a study conducted by John Hopkins University chronic absenteeism in schools (which is classified as missing 10% or more of classes held in a school year) occurs at rates 3 to 4 times higher in areas that have a higher prevalence of poverty. Within low-income communities it is not uncommon for teachers to see as much as 25% of the class missing each day and many students in these areas miss as many as 40 days of school each year. 

Why are absentee rates so high among the impoverished? There are multiple causes related to absences such as violence in the community, expectations for children to care for their younger siblings while their parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and high rates of disease and illness. One of the biggest barriers can be that the concern of the parents is focused on simply surviving and the school system (which may have failed them) is seen as a luxury for their children that the family can ill-afford. [3]

A focus on school attendance will allow some of these children to break the cycle of generational poverty and a solution to this issue needs to be developed to help them. 

 

For more poverty news keep checking back to our NMP blog, and keep checking back with No More Poverty to learn how you can do your part to fight poverty in all of its forms. 

[1] http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bono-embraces-inner-nerd-in-fight-against-poverty-20130227

[2] http://www.economist.com/blogs/analects/2013/02/chinas-poor

[3] http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/27/22cutillo.h32.html?tkn=ZVXFoK05p8E2Mn4C3USFn5%2BiiC1DtDPruLIF&cmp=clp-edweek

 

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