Sustainable Development Goal 1 – End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. Among these, the very first goal is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. This ambitious target acknowledges that poverty is not just about lack of money; it’s a multidimensional issue that affects various aspects of human life.

Extremities of Poverty Worldwide

Approximately 700 million people globally live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $2.15 per day. More than half of these individuals are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite decades of poverty reduction efforts, recent crises have resulted in significant setbacks. By 2030, it’s estimated that nearly 600 million people will still be in extreme poverty if current trends continue​​.

Children are disproportionately affected, with more than half of those in extreme poverty being children, even though they constitute only 31% of the global population​​. Inequality, an underlying factor of poverty, worsened significantly in 2020, with the poorest suffering most amid the pandemic​​.


The Impact of Inflation and Cost of Living

Inflation has emerged as a critical challenge, particularly for low- and middle-income households. The increase in prices erodes the value of real wages and savings, leaving these households poorer. This issue is exacerbated in poorer households that often lack access to financial products to protect against inflation​​. Food and energy price increases disproportionately impact the poorest households, who spend a larger portion of their income on these necessities​​.


Effects of Extreme Poverty on Life and Future

Extreme poverty transcends monetary constraints, severely impacting physical and mental health. Those living in extreme poverty, often in countries with high rates of poverty like Sub-Saharan African nations, face dire consequences like poor health, lack of education, homelessness, and significantly reduced life expectancy​​.


How the World and Governments Contribute to Ending Poverty

The global effort to eradicate poverty requires coordinated actions from both governments and the international community. The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda highlights the critical role of ending poverty in all its forms as a prerequisite for sustainable development. This goal encompasses targets like eradicating extreme poverty, reducing the overall poverty rate, and implementing social protection systems to cover the poor and vulnerable​​.
“The Future We Want,” an outcome document from the Rio+20 conference, underscores the importance of addressing poverty’s root causes through integrated, coordinated, and coherent strategies at all levels. This approach emphasizes the need for the United Nations to prioritize poverty eradication within its development agenda​​.

Key strategies include:

  • Improving Access to Sustainable Livelihoods: This involves creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and providing productive resources to those in need.
  • Universal Access to Basic Services: Ensuring that everyone has access to essential services like healthcare, education, and sanitation.
  • Developing Social Protection Systems: Establishing robust systems to support individuals who cannot support themselves.
  • Empowering People in Poverty: This includes supporting organizations that work directly with impoverished communities.
  • Addressing Gender Disparities: Recognizing and mitigating the disproportionate impact of poverty on women.
  • Increasing Aid and International Cooperation: Working with donors and recipients to allocate more Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to poverty eradication.
  • Intensifying International Cooperation: Strengthening global partnerships to tackle poverty effectively​​.

These steps, taken collectively by governments and international bodies, are vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and ultimately, ending poverty in all its forms.


Steps to End Poverty

  1. Eliminating Poverty Through Equity: Addressing systemic barriers and inequalities is crucial. This involves ensuring representation and opportunities for all groups within communities​​.
  2. Reducing Poverty With Resilience: Building resilience in communities, particularly in the face of high inequality and risk, is essential​​.
  3. Commitment to Climate Change Solutions: Climate change poses a significant threat, potentially pushing an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty. Action against climate change is a critical step​​.
  4. Eradicating Poverty Through Education: Education can significantly reduce poverty rates, with basic literacy skills capable of lifting 171 million people out of extreme poverty​​.
  5. Halting Poverty by Ending Hunger: Adequate nutrition and access to clean water are foundational to breaking the cycle of poverty​​.
  6. Poverty Alleviation Through Peace: Ending conflicts can redirect resources to public services, benefiting vulnerable communities​​.
  7. Cash and Microfinance Solutions: Cash transfers and microfinance initiatives are effective tools in poverty alleviation​​.

School or Homeschool Learning Ideas


  1. Global Poverty Simulation – Simulate the experience of living in poverty by assigning students different roles representing individuals from low-income communities around the world. Use real-world statistics and narratives to create immersive scenarios that highlight the challenges faced by those living in poverty, such as lack of access to food, clean water, education, and healthcare.
  2. Poverty Photography Project – Task students with capturing photographs that depict the harsh realities of poverty in their local communities or globally. Encourage them to research and document poverty-stricken areas, focusing on issues like homelessness, slums, and lack of basic amenities. Showcase the photographs in an exhibition to raise awareness and spark discussions about poverty eradication efforts.
  3. Poverty Alleviation Case Studies – Analyze case studies of successful poverty alleviation projects and initiatives from around the world. Explore real-world examples like Grameen Bank’s microfinance program in Bangladesh, Brazil’s Bolsa Família social welfare program, and Kenya’s M-Pesa mobile money platform. Discuss the strategies, challenges, and impacts of these projects in lifting people out of poverty.
  4. Poverty Panel Discussion – Organize a panel discussion featuring experts, activists, and individuals with lived experience of poverty to discuss the complexities of poverty eradication. Address topics like economic inequality, social justice, access to education and healthcare, and the role of government policies and international cooperation in tackling poverty. Encourage students to ask questions and engage in dialogue with the panelists.
  5. Poverty Awareness Campaign – Challenge students to design and implement a poverty awareness campaign in their school or local community. Encourage them to use creative mediums like posters, videos, social media, and public events to raise awareness about the realities of poverty and mobilize support for poverty alleviation initiatives. Partner with local organizations or charities working on poverty-related issues to amplify the impact of the campaign.


What Our Children Need to Know

  1. Scenario of Inequality: Imagine living in a community where only certain groups have access to education and healthcare. How would that affect the community’s overall growth and development?
  2. Impact of Climate Change: Consider how changes in weather patterns could affect food production in rural areas, leading to food shortages and increased poverty.
  3. Education as a Tool: Think about a world where every child, regardless of their background, has access to quality education. How would that change their future prospects?
  4. Hunger and Health: Reflect on how consistent access to nutritious food and clean water can transform the health and productivity of an entire community.
  5. The Power of Peace: Imagine how ending conflicts can save resources and create safer, more prosperous societies.


The Big Questions

  1. How does inequality in a community perpetuate poverty?
  2. In what ways can education be a game-changer in fighting poverty?
  3. Why is it crucial to consider climate change when addressing poverty?
  4. What are the long-term impacts of hunger and poor nutrition on a community?
  5. How can peace contribute to poverty alleviation?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upgrade to become a Premium Member and avail 20% discount on all courses.