War on Poverty

Why Is Poverty a Problem?

Almost 1.1 billion individuals have managed to escape extreme poverty since 1990.[1] While the trend is going in the right direction, 1 in 10 people live below the $2.15 line of desperation.[2]  So why is poverty a problem still?

Perhaps this journey is like a marathon, where the last segment is often the almost difficult. GFA World seeks to continue fighting in the most difficult areas—regions where poverty is entrenched in a complex and longstanding way.

Here are two important factors in this continuing problem:

Inequality – In many areas where we work in Africa and Asia, there are people groups that are economically disadvantaged. Poverty is so entrenched in these areas that it takes time and intentional strategies to help them. According to the World Bank, “Intensified efforts are required to boost the incomes, alleviate the suffering and build the resilience of those individuals still living in extreme poverty.”[3]

Natural and Manmade Disasters – Global and regional disasters and crises have severely impacted poverty-elimination goals. For example, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic in the early 2020s were major influences in the fight against poverty.[4] The United Nations suggests that the pandemic alone erased four years of progress against poverty. In 2020 alone, the working poor increased by 8 million.[5] Natural disasters also greatly impact poverty rates and keep progress from being made.[6]

GFA World has seen tremendous success with small gifts that make a huge difference. For example, a pair of goats gifted to a family in extreme poverty can completely change their circumstances. They can sell the milk or breed the goats to expand their herd. Chickens can produce eggs to sell or eat. A water buffalo can make plowing fields easier and produce milk for drinking and dung for fuel or fertilizer. These gifts empower families to earn a sustainable income and rise out of poverty.

Imagine the excitement when a farmer receives a pull-cart so he or she can sell produce at the market.

“With the pull cart, I can travel around and sell onions and potatoes,” said Bhrithi, who was moved by the help she received from GFA. “Wherever I find a suitable place, I stand and sell. My earnings have also increased.”

Will you join us in providing these life-changing gifts to families in areas of Africa and Asia where extreme poverty is difficult to address? The gifts might seem simple in our part of the world, but to a person in poverty, they are life changing. Join us today.

Learn more about the war on poverty and the work GFA World is doing to help

[1] “Taking on Inequality.” World Bank Group. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25078/9781464809583.pdf. 2016.
[2] Holt, Palmer. “Poverty: Public Enemy #1.” https://www.gfa.org/special-report/poverty-alleviation/. October 17, 2019.
[3] “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.” United Nations Economic and Social Council. https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/files/report/2017/secretary-general-sdg-report-2017–EN.pdf. Accessed November 28, 2022.
[4] Wheatly, Jonathan. “Ukraine war will increase poverty in developing economies, warns World Bank.” Financial Times. https://www.ft.com/content/f09f4864-fc81-4dbd-8086-25e70ed01019. March 29, 2022.
[5] “End poverty in all its forms everywhere.” United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal1. Accessed November 28, 2022.
[6] “Natural Disasters Force 26 Million People into Poverty and Cost $520bn in Losses Every Year, New World Bank Analysis Finds.” The World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/11/14/natural-disasters-force-26-million-people-into-poverty-and-cost-520bn-in-losses-every-year-new-world-bank-analysis-finds. Accessed November 28, 2022.