Poverty Is Decreasing Except In Nigeria.
It is now three years into the ambitious Global Goal – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the most ambitious project ever embarked by the United Nations.
The clock is ticking. The first five years may be critical to the success or failure of SDGs. During a seminar organized by SAID Sweden on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030 and the Catholic Church in the city of Gävle, 29 January, only one of the participants said he had knowledge of the SDGs. This underscores the need for information and engagement with Agenda 2030.
Some people are of the view that the world is heading to disaster. Some others believe that extreme poverty cannot be eradicated. This demonstrates that such people are unaware of the tremendous progress that have been made in this area over the past decades. Tremendous progress has been made. Studies such as that of Hans Rosling, the Swedish public health researcher have demonstrated this without doubt.
Between 1990 and 2015, more than a billion people moved out of extreme poverty, and the global poverty rate is now lower than it has ever been in recorded history. Poverty is not just about money, it is also about measuring people’s wellbeing- not just their income or consumption.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was successful in reducing the rate of poverty in the world from where it was to halve in 2015. Nevertheless, much of this decline was due to impressive growth in Asia, particularly China and India. As global poverty continues to fall, however, troubling signs are emerging as the pace of reduction is slowing and population exploding in some countries. If this trend continues, it could threaten the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
The total number of poor in Sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing. At this moment, more extreme poor live in this region than in the rest of the world combined. Tragically, poverty is decreasing everywhere else except in Sub- Saharan Africa. Nigeria with a population of about 200 million is now home to most poor people in the world, thus overtaking India as the world’s poverty capital. By 2030, forecasts predict that nearly 9 out of 10 extremely poor people will live in Sub-Saharan Africa and poverty there will remain in the double digits.
Education is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty, creating job and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. Yet millions of children have no opportunity of attending school in Nigeria.
This is a national and international disaster that is not receiving as much attention as it should. Many young people attend schools without acquiring basic literacy skills, leaving them unable to compete in the job market.
Developing countries such as Nigeria have made tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom and most children worldwide are now in primary school. Nevertheless, some 260 million children are still out of primary and secondary school.
The mere fact of attending school does not guarantee learning, as the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) shows. For about half of students, schooling is not learning. Hundreds of millions of children cannot read or write despite having attended school.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90 percent of students do not have the minimum skills in reading and math. These constitute the roots of poverty to which SAID is committed to helping individuals and communities fight effectively.
SAID Nigeria is more than ever committed to fighting poverty in all its dimensions through our programmes, Projects and actvities. Life is beautiful. Let’s help each other to enjoy and celebrate it!
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PrinceJoseph Okorie (SAID Nigeria Communication and Information Coordinator)