Effects of Poverty

How GFA World Alleviates the Effects of Poverty

Millions of people globally suffer from the many effects of poverty. From poor health, to lack of education and shelter, to vulnerability and violence—poverty impacts so many parts of life.[1] As of 2015, over 700 million people were living below the international poverty line of $2.15 per day. That is 10 percent of the world’s population.[2]

With so many people suffering from poverty, it is only natural to ask, “How does poverty affect the community?” Half of the world’s poorest people live in just five countries found in Africa and Southeast Asia. They are part of the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation, one billion people without electricity, 822 million people who are hungry and 785 million who drink unsafe water. On top of that, 200 million children under the age of five in developing regions are considered underweight for their age, and 264 million children were out of school in 2015, with sub-Saharan Africa having the highest out-of-school rates.[3]

Clearly, poverty impacts everything. GFA World and other organizations see the massive influence of poverty and seek to address it through ministries and outreach programs. One way this happens is by understanding the question, “How does poverty and unemployment affect the community?” It is logical that unemployment and underemployment are the core of poverty. The UN states that to end poverty, “It is crucial to provide decent jobs that both secure income and empowerment for the poor, especially women and younger people.”[4]

GFA has found that providing income-generating gifts can lift families above the struggles of unemployment and poverty. A common gift in this category is a sewing machine. In just one distribution event, GFA gifted more than 100 sewing machines and provided tailoring training to make the recipients self-sufficient and able to market their skills. One woman who received a machine said, “My husband was unable to purchase one for me. Now I will stitch clothes for others and support my husband financially to meet our needs. This gift will help us earn our livelihood.”[5]

Other income-generating gifts from GFA include mason and carpentry tools, bicycle repair equipment and farm animals. Cows and goats provide milk to drink, improving nutrient-lacking diets. Chickens produce eggs, which have the same effect. These products can also be sold, providing a steady stream of income. And when the animals begin to reproduce, things change dramatically.

The animals or meat can be sold, and the surplus of funds can then go toward education and healthcare—things that were completely out of reach before.[6] By providing gifts that offer a source of income, GFA is providing hope and a way to escape the effects of poverty.

Besides income-generating gifts, GFA also works through our Child Sponsorship Program to ensure that children finish their education.

The kids receive vital necessities like school supplies, nutritious food, tutoring assistance, healthcare and hygiene training all at no cost, which sets them up for higher-paying jobs in the future.[7] Sponsorship both counteracts the high out-of-school rates and provides more opportunities for decent jobs, so it is another excellent path out of the cycle of poverty that traps so many.

GFA helps with more than just unemployment. There are many more facets of poverty that need to be addressed, such as how does poverty affect the health of the community? Many people in Africa and Asia are miles away from medical care and too poor to travel there, and even if there is a medical facility close by, many families cannot afford treatment. Each year, large numbers of households are pushed into abject poverty because of paying for healthcare out of their own pockets.[8]

GFA sets up free medical camps, a major part of our medical ministry, which seek to treat those who can’t afford heathcare. One such camp treated 1,700 people in just 10 days. People traveled many hours to seek treatment for everything from malaria, to sickle cell anemia, to malnutrition.

Despite desperate cases demanding more attention, deficiencies in vitamins C, D, A as well as iron contributed to many of the villagers’ ailments. A lot of the patients just required some vitamins or deworming tablets. The doctors at the camp found that most people needed education on how to prevent health issues like diarrhea, dysentery, anemia, worms, typhoid and hepatitis.[9]

Consider partnering with GFA in our ministries that address the various effects of poverty. Whether you want to provide an income-generating sewing machine or animal, you feel led to sponsor a child or national missionary or you desire to give toward medical missions, there is always a need. It doesn’t take much to provide a path out of poverty and change a community’s future.

Learn more about what are the causes of poverty

[1] Nguyen, Huong Nhi. “What is Poverty? How Does It Affect People’s Lives?” Project Sprouts. Accessed July 11, 2023. https://project-sprouts.com/what-is-poverty-how-does-it-affect-peoples-lives/.
[2] “Ending Poverty.” United Nations. Accessed July 11, 2023. https://www.un.org/en/global-issues/ending-poverty.
[3] “Global Poverty 101.” The Borgen Project. Accessed July 11, 2023. https://borgenproject.org/global-poverty/.
[4] Employment and Decent Work.” United Nations. Accessed July 11, 2023. https://www.un.org/development/desa/socialperspectiveondevelopment/issues/employment-and-decent-work.html.
[5] “Sewing Machine Distribution Helps the Forsaken Stitch Together a New Life.” GFA World. March 27, 2017. https://www.gfa.org/pr/sewing-machine-distribution-helps-forsaken-stitch-together-new-life/.
[6] Holt, Palmer. “A Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals.” GFA World. November 30, 2021. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/solutions-poverty-farm-animals/.
[7] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed July 11, 2023. https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild/.
[8] “World Bank and WHO: Half the world lacks access to essential health services, 100 million still pushed into extreme poverty because of health expenses.” The World Bank. December 13, 2017. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/12/13/world-bank-who-half-world-lacks-access-to-essential-health-services-100-million-still-pushed-into-extreme-poverty-because-of-health-expenses.
[9] “Missionary Doctor Witnesses Depressing Medical Cases.” GFA World. January 5, 2011. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/missionary-doctor-witnesses-depressing-medical-cases/.