Poverty is a multiple fold phenomenon in today’s globalized
world. It is ingrained in various causes and there are also multiple ways to do
away with it. Measuring poverty is imperative as the indicator will help to
elect that is poor, how many people are poor and identify the different types
of poor people. So that different approaches can be used to help them.
In the oxford dictionary, the word poverty is defined as” The
state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.” In 1998, UN
described poverty in a statement as a violation of human dignity whereby humans
are denied from having choices and opportunities. The World Bank delineates
poverty as a pronounced deprivation in well-being and it encompasses various
factors. People in poverty might have low incomes and so are incapable to
purchase basic goods and services necessary for survival with pride. Poverty
brings the poor to extremely poor levels of health and education, absence of
clean water and sanitation, lack of or inadequacy of physical security, lack of
voice, and not enough capacity and opportunity to make one’s life better.
Generally, there are many ways to ration poverty. Some distinguish
the poor by observing at their economic and non-economic well-being whereas,
some look at whether the poor falls into the basket of extreme poverty or
relative poverty. The measure of economic well-being takes into reason the income
of the people. The gain of this measure is that the data is quick to retrieve,
easier to measure, and generally updated regularly. The measure of non-economic
well-being takes into account the indicators of education, health and
nutrition, environment and, empowerment and participation in society. All of
these pointers make it easier to assess the health and well-being of the people
in a long term trend moreover, poverty is not easy to measure because it can be
further defined in both extreme and relative terms. Absolute poverty means lack
of the skill to meet fundamental human needs. Extreme poverty may also be
called as absolute poverty which says that one may be considered as poor if
they earn much less than other people in their area of habitation, but if
compared to others in another society, they may not be considered as poor.
Progress in hunger reduction has been momentous despite the puzzling
global environment over the last decade. Major challenges have involved rising
unemployment, higher food and energy prices, volatile commodity prices,
economic recessions, frequent extreme weather events and natural disasters, and
political instability and civil strife. These difficulties have braked down
progress in reducing extreme poverty and hunger in some of the most weak
nations of the world.
Normally, those nations, communities and people are trapped
in poverty which are too lazy to explore natural resources, indifferent in
life-oriented education and inconsiderate about life overall.
The Quran inspires humanity to range over the earth to search
for Allah’s bounties; all turfs are open for human search and use. It is for
man to discover the world and make use of natural resources. The lot on earth
has been created for man; it is his duty to make use of all divine blessings.
Thus exploration and exploitation of natural resources is the prime duty of all
humans. But man must remain watchful of his obligation towards nature. He has
to leave a much better world for coming generation
If we look around there is mismanagement at every level.there
are people having meals at expensive hotels and then there are people who donot
even have clean drinking water. We see
people travelling in air-conditioned cars while on the same roads people are
packed like sardines in rundown buses and also seated precariously on the roofs
of vehicles. We see children studying in elite schools while there are poor children
who have nowhere to study.
Looking at history
reveals that all civilizations have remained divided on the basis of resources
in all ages. There is difference in the allocation of resources among them.
Therefore, those who have more resources are more powerful with greater status.
Many societies have seen clatters between people due to income inequality.
The need of the hour is robust policy making. For this
purpose we need to focus on the causes rather than the symptoms. There are
number of problems usually in a vicious cycle, circling in the society since decades.
In wealthiest nations, poor may not be living in absolute poverty. Some may
have access to some luxuries other don’t. in terms of their standing in the
country, they are relatively poor.
Even relative poverty can have debilitating consequences
such as poor health, inclination towards drugs and crimes and poor education.
Majorly, many of these things are hard to measure, such as social cohesion and
the level of trust and comfort people will have in interacting with one another
in the society. Nonetheless, over the years, numerous studies have shown that
sometimes the poor in wealthy countries can be unhappier or finding it harder
to cope than poor people in poorer countries.
Policy making for the solution of poverty should have a twin
function of :
rate of growth, and
in income distribution.
factors to reducing poverty will be:
reduction in inequality
reduction in income differences
Globally, there are two scenarios at play, one is the growth
in positive terms and the other is the negative change in income distribution.
Pakistani hasn’t been saved from the reins of poverty and
has been entrenched in this country for a long time.
A number of factors explain the existence of an increase in
poverty in the last decade .Majorly, poor governance is the cause of poverty in
Pakistan.it not only has enhanced poverty and vulnerability but is also a
significant cause of less business and Low FDI inflows .Governance problems
have also resulted in inefficiency in provision of social services, which has
had serious insinuations for human development in the country.
The lack of public confidence in state institutions,
including the police and judiciary, have battered their legitimacy and unswervingly
contributed to making worse conditions of public security and law and order
during the 1990s. With respect to economic factors, failure in the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is the direct cause of the rise in poverty
over the last decade. In the 1990s, development declined in all sectors and was
slower than average in labor-intensive sectors. However, the causes of the stoppage
in growth may be divided into two categories, i.e. structural and others
Poor governance is the key to cause of poverty in Pakistan with
it being more long-term issues, which have persisted due to declining
governance. Among the other causes, are structural ones, including the heavy debt
burden and declining competitiveness of the Pakistan economy in the progressively
skilled global economy are significant. While the first occurred due to economic
mismanagement, the other was because of Pakistan’s low level of human
Another big reason is the falling public investment, in addition
to unsuccessful attempts at macroeconomic stabilization, adversely affected
private investment. In tandem, reduction in tariffs, exhaustion of simple
import substitution opportunities, and elimination of export subsidies in the
1990s meant that international competitiveness became an increasingly important
determinant of investment opportunities in Pakistan. Due to the low level of
human development, significantly inappropriate government intervention and poor
state of physical infrastructure, many areas of the economy where Pakistan was
competitive were not many. As a result, total fixed investment declined
significantly, bringing about a fall in the economic growth rate.
The existence of inescapable poverty, wherein an important
proportion of the populace rests poor over a long period of time is strongly
linked with the structure of society. Cultivated land is highly unequally
distributed in Pakistan. About 47 percent of the farms are smaller than 2
hectares, accounting for only 12 percent of the total cultivated area. Access
to land, which is the basic factor of production, is crucial to reduce poverty
in rural areas. Pervasive inequality in land ownership intensifies the degree
of vulnerability of the poorest sections of rural society, because the effects
of an unequal land distribution are not limited to control over assets. The
structure of rural culture, in areas where land ownership is highly unequal,
tends to be strongly ranked, with large landowners or tribal chiefs training
considerable control over the decisions, personal and otherwise, of people
living in the area under their influence, as well as over their access to
social infrastructure facilities. Environmental squalor is also a cause of
poverty in Pakistan.
The environment-poverty link shows itself most specifically in health effects.
For example, waterborne diseases are widespread because 17 percent of the urban
and 47 percent of the rural population does not have access to clean drinking
water. The poor also tend to be more sensitive to the effects of air and water
pollution, both in rural and urban areas, given their limited access to quality
health care. The spread of disease worsens poverty firstly by persuading the poor to
devote ever rising proportions of their restrained income to health costs, and
secondly by lowering productivity.
Depending on what is causing it, there can be varying
solutions to poverty. Given that poverty is not easy to solve and the long
history of anti-poverty measures have often been failing, successful action on
poverty reduction is possible to cut the large numbers of people who are still in
poverty. One of the important and most effective elements of democracy is
Which is lacking in most of the developing countries,
specifically in Pakistan. A few methods to tackle corruption to promote
democratic and transparent procedures between donor nations and their creditors
To bring back justice in which international
creditors play the role of plaintiff, judge and jury, in their own court of
international finance. ii. Introduce discipline in sovereign lending and
borrowing activities to prevent future crises. iii. Introduce accountability to
counter corruption in borrowing and lending activities for both creditor and
debtor nations. iv. Strengthen local democratic institutions and empower them
to decide and influence inappropriate policy/rules. v. Encourage greater understanding
and economic literacy among citizens to challenge and express dissatisfaction
those responsible of wrongdoings.
government is likely to result in a positive political and economic development
for the countries. The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is an
organization that looks at public budgets by governments around the world. The
reports are produced every 2 years. Transparency and accountability of the
budgetary process for a number of countries around the world are evaluated and
importance of budget transparency is as follows • Making budgets transparent
with adequate checks and balances can enhance the credibility of policy
decisions. This will avoid corruption and wasteful spending.
• Budget transparency is importance to many of
the international development discourses such as climate change mitigation
financing, Millennium Development Goals, accounting for the sale of natural
resources and international aid given to developing countries.
programs are needed for the poor. The reducing of poverty can only be done
through actions of education development assistance and financial contribution
from wealthiest countries in education development. The fight against poverty
and the promotion of an equal education must become a priority for all
especially the governments. Development initiatives should be in the form of
cooperation to transfer skills to targeted population. Quality education is
most critical solution so that they can help themselves to come out from
poverty circle. Priority must be given to children aged 6 and below so that the
habit to learn and develop study technique can be instilled, and thus have a
greater chance to perform and excel in the elementary, high school, and college
years. What children learn before the age of 6, have long lasting impact in
their minds and hearts. This will help to shape their characters and
personalities the most. In addition to quality basic education, secondary and
higher education, vocational training, and skill acquisition throughout life
are indispensable tools to eradicate poverty
Agriculture needs to be modernized for
increased productivity and profitability, innovation in agro-processing,
technology innovation, and upgrading the use of technologies for value
addition. Subsequently, with a critical mass of high-quality educated people at
different levels, it can effectively respond to the sustainable development
challenges of nations.
Political Instability, Wars, Civil Wars Low
national income per capita increases the risk of civil war . Low income per
capita also tends to prolong existing conflicts, and that a decline in per
capita income can make more countries vulnerable to civil conflict. Because
civil war impairs economic performance, exacerbating poverty, poor countries that
experience conflict are at risk of getting stuck in a conflict trap .The
overall and crucial policy recommendation to reduce conflict risk is needed to
spur economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries,
especially in the poor states. Policies that increase per capita income in the
poorest countries will reduce their conflict risk. Ultimately this will reduce
poverty level of the involving country.
and Geographical Characteristics Drought is one of the main contribution
factors why thousands of Pakistanis are hungry. An innovative approach of water
resource management in Syria, for example, has been introduced and expected to
benefit 18,000 people hit by a long drought Innovation of agricultural system
for adaptation such as farmer production practices, market approaches,
technological and policy innovations is also important to adapt to the natural
and geographical factor . New crop varieties that can better withstand drought,
water-logging, increased crop diseases and pests are also needed. Agricultural
integrated value chain such as easy accessibility to finance, weather crop
insurance, crop storage and accessibility to local and regional markets are
also needed to improve or increase the income of the population. Most of the
farmer farms the land continuously, resulting in fertile farmlands are
decreasing. The individual farmers have limited knowledge and accessibility to
use fertilizer to sustain plant growth. Therefore, technical and financial
assistance must be given such as, appropriate tools and support, skills and
knowledge, so that productivity of the land could be increased and sustained.
Governance & Government Policies Responsible governance of developing
countries is needed to reduce or eliminate the poverty. Important policy
introduction in the developing countries such as debt relief, increased market
accessibility, improved incentives for private sector development, increased
foreign direct investment, sustained support for civil society especially
underprivileged, free press, women’s rights etc., are needed to prevent and
eventually will help towards eliminating the poverty.
a Framework for Economic Growth and Transformation The government must be
committed to providing economic policy incentive for promoting private sector
investment and increase foreign direct investment to reduce poverty such as,
containing inflation rates to single digits, controlling public expenditure
within available financial resources and maintaining a fair foreign exchange
government must also commit to public expenditure and ensure that money spent
is targeted at improving the welfare of the poor 2. Ensuring Good Governance
and Security The government must ensure that the issues of conflict resolution,
human rights and security of life and property are protected
. Specific attention must also be given to
accountability and democracy as necessary facets of good governance and
security. 3. Increasing the Ability of the Poor to Raise Their Incomes The
government must also be committed to ensure that the public has easy access to
market information, accessibility and infrastructure.
The construction and maintenance of a good road
network is required for market accessibility of agriculture from rural and
remote areas. The process of building the country’s infrastructure also
contributes to poverty reduction by creating employment in the rural areas. The
government needs to promote secure access and rights to land, credit markets
and promotion of improvements to land .
Subsequently this will increase productivity and
transform the agriculture development.
Poverty has resulted
in individuals not having choices and opportunities to get fundamental needs
for survival including food, shelter and clothing. Subsequently, they are
unable to participate effectively in society towards development of a strong
community as they lack these basic capacities. It leads to insecurity,
powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. The
main causes of poverty are corruption; education; political instability and
wars; natural and geographical characteristics; and ineffective local
governance and government policies. The fact that poverty is quite multi-dimensional
and varies from place to place and from society to society, it is important to
identify the causes of poverty. The most appropriate solving method perhaps is
to examine the dimensions highlighted by the poor from respective location. The
root causes of poverty faced by the community need to be identified, so that
the efforts to eradicate poverty will give sustainable progress.