The Causes of Poverty

Is It Possible to End Poverty?

Many organizations, governments and philanthropists believe that it is possible to significantly reduce the number of people living in poverty worldwide. The United Nations estimates that 10 percent of the world population lives at or below the poverty level, earning $1.90 per day or less, prompting the UN to name poverty as its primary Sustainable Development Goal.1 The World Bank has said that to end poverty in parts of the developing world by 2030 is “ambitious, yet achievable.”2

The World Bank data shows that from 1960 to 2018 the percentage of the world’s population living at the poverty level went from 40 percent to 9.3 percent.3 This is an incredible reduction that is promising for future progress. Though there is optimism, however, much work is yet to be done.

South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa remain the two leading regions with the highest percentages of those living in poverty. According to a 2016 World Bank report,

“The implication of the current geography of global and regional poverty is that if the goal of ending poverty is to be achieved, most of any future decline will have to come from sub-Saharan Africa, and to a lesser extent, South Asia.”4

While it will take many organizations and governments to address the multifaceted issues surrounding poverty on a global scale, it will also take the open-eyed commitment of people on the ground in the most vulnerable areas to recognize the problems that need immediate attention and respond to them. This is where GFA World does some of its best work.

GFA national missionaries are uniquely positioned to serve and minister to those in need. For example:

  • They move freely in areas that are restricted to outsiders, and they are usually accepted in the communities they serve.
  • They instinctively know the cultural taboos in the area.
  • They have already mastered the local language or can easily learn a related dialect.
  • They live in the community, eating the same food, wearing the same clothes and sharing the same interests as the local people.
  • They have a passion and burden to serve and share Christ’s love with their own people.

GFA missionaries become an integral part of their communities and can identify areas where GFA World can help. For instance, if lack of clean water is devastating a village with waterborne diseases, the missionary can work to get a Jesus Well installed. With clean water, the villagers can become healthy enough to keep working or going to school, both of which are essential to preventing and escaping poverty. They also facilitate gifts such as livestock and sewing machines that can become income sources.

For just $30 a month, you can sponsor a missionary whose heart is committed to the people he or she serves. Though they will certainly find ways to help people in need rise above poverty, it will be their lives reflecting the light and love of Jesus Christ that will bring the greatest gifts to the people and communities they serve.

Learn more about causes of poverty

1 “Strong Markets and Strong Societies Go Hand in Hand.” United Nations Global Compact. Accessed January 2022.
2 Burt, Alison, et al. “Eradicating Poverty in Fragile States Prospects of Reaching the ‘High-Hanging’ Fruit by 2030.” World Bank Group. August 2014.
3 “Poverty.” The World Bank 2018.
4 “Poverty and Shared Prosperity: Taking on Inequality. World Bank Group. 2016.