Poverty is not a shame, but a shame for international organizations that see such an ugly phenomenon and do nothing to help those who fall into this abyss with no way out. I been traveling a lot recently and this topic has been bugging me for a while now, no matter where I go. Poverty is the new epidemic now and we are not doing enough to stop it.
It is clear that the gap between rich and poor has widened over the past 20 years. While I see stupid and shallow people earning millions on social media by showing their butts or making silly gestures, I see many falling into poverty due to losing their jobs, inflation or erroneous policies by corrupt governments. I keep wondering if we have paved the way for a few clowns to make millions, but are standing still towards those who end up on the streets and die of hunger.
“The world today has become an island surrounded by seas of poor people.” These were the words of former South African president Thabo Mbeki describing poverty at a Johannesburg conference a year ago. It is an accurate description of a worrying phenomenon.
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It was approved by the United Nations, but without any real actions to end this dilemma. The population of Planet Earth is 7 billion people including 4.3 billion in developing countries, of which 3 billion live below the poverty line.
There are many studies on the causes of poverty in developing countries. Some of these explicitly indicate that economic sanctions, invasions and occupations of states have exacerbated the problem of poverty and transformed nations that were originally rich to a state of extreme poverty. This is consistent with what happened in Iraq, Iran and Syria, and in spite of the wealth of these countries, they are in very difficult situations.
The lack of political commitment towards the fight against poverty will lead to it spreading. It is also a reason for terrorism, killings and threats. Poverty is always associated with ignorance. It becomes easier for terrorist organizations to infiltrate and provoke angry sentiments. The problem of poverty has a close link with terrorism and international organizations must make more efforts to prevent more people from falling into poverty and turning into criminals because of their needs.
Sometimes people want to help, but inflation makes it nearly impossible to cover their own needs, let alone of the whole world. Another reason is that many don’t trust who should be getting their money to help the poor of a nation. In Kuwait, since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, many Kuwaitis have been sending money, but how they can be absolutely sure the needy will get their money and not terrorists? We need new thinking on how to help those who suffer from the injustice of poverty.
By Muna Al-Fuzai