No results to end poverty despite host of efforts

Poverty eradication has been repeatedly identified as the largest challenge facing international society in its quest for a peaceful and prosperous world.Although great strides have been made, millions of people remain vulnerable to falling into absolute poverty. Poverty reduction is one of the world’s most important topics of discussion, and it is proposed that the private sector has an important role to play in creating the economic growth, employment and purchasing options needed for significant poverty alleviation. Poverty is highly correlated with many negative measurable aspects of standards of living. Therefore, decreasing poverty can positively impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. There is much to learn about poverty lessening through examining examples in Asia, as it is the region of the world that has both the most people currently living in poverty and has had the rare success in reducing poverty.
Eradicating poverty is not a task of charity, it’s an act of justice and the key to unlocking an enormous human potential. Still, nearly half of the world’s population lives in poverty, and lack of food and clean water is killing thousands every single day of the year. Together, we can feed the hungry, wipe out disease and give everyone in the world a chance to prosper and live a productive and rich life.Reducing poverty has become a priority concern, yet there is no international consensus on guidelines for measuring poverty. From an economist’s approach, income poverty occurs when a family’s income fails to meet anestablished threshold.Further, poverty has been considered as the oldest and the most resistant virus that brings about a devastating disease in the third world called under development. Its rate of killing cannot be compared to any disease from the genesis of mankind. It is worse than malaria and HIV/AIDS which are claimed to be the highest killer diseases.
In Pakistan, poverty is high with over a third of the population estimated to be living below the poverty-line. The Government’s poverty reduction strategy affirms that Pakistan is faced with the twin challenges of reviving growth and reducing poverty. An increase in GDP growth rates will, however, only lead to an appreciable reduction in poverty levels if growth is broad-based. To generate employment opportunities on a scale needed for long-term poverty alleviation, it is necessary to create an environment conducive for private economic activity and encourage domestic and foreign investment. That requires significant improvements in the management of public resources, establishment and enforcement of the rule of law, and a move to a less intrusive system of economic regulation.Income growth in Pakistan has been the main driver of poverty reduction, according to a World Bank Report.
Causes of Poverty in Pakistan: A number of factors explain the existence of an increase in poverty in the last decades. However, poor governance is the key underlying cause of poverty in Pakistan. Poor governance has not only enhanced vulnerability but is the prime cause of low business confidence, which in turn translates into lower investment levels and growth. Governance problems have also resulted in inefficiency in the provision of social services, which has had serious implications for human development in the country. The lack of public confidence in state institutions, including the police and judiciary, has eroded their legitimacy and directly contributed to worsening conditions of public security and law and order during the 1990s and onwards. With regard to economic factors, the decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is the immediate cause of the increase in poverty over the last two decades. However, the causes of the slowdown in growth may be divided into two categories, i.e. structural and others, with the former being more long-term pervasive issues, which have persisted because of deteriorating governance. Among the structural causes, the burgeoning debt burden and declining competitiveness of the Pakistan economy in the increasingly skill-based global economy are the most important.
Responses to Poverty in Pakistan: Unfortunately, there is no general or universal social protection system in Pakistan. However, several initiatives aimed at helping the poor by improving governance and functioning of public sector institutions; creating assets, employment, and income generation opportunities; revamping social safety net systems; and improving access to basic services are being implemented by the Government, and also by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector but no positive outcomes and results came to overcome poverty. However, below are some recommendations which may help in reducing poverty in the future.
1. Develop and implement rapid and sustained economic growth policies and programs, in areas such as health, education, nutrition and sanitation, allowing the poor to participate and contribute to the growth.
2. Improve management of water, natural resources and agricultural programs. Most of the rural poor depend on agriculture or other natural resources for their livelihood. Consequently, it is necessary that they must have more equitable access to those resources so they are better able to manage their resources.
3. Create and improve access to jobs and income and develop entrepreneurial talent.
4. Providing all people with access to basic social services including education, health care, adequate food, sanitation, shelter and clean water.
5. Empower people living in poverty by involving them in the development and implementation of plans and programs to reduce and eradicate poverty. Their involvement ensures that programs reflect those things that are important to them.
6. Remove barriers to equal access to resources and services to the people of below poverty-line.

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