END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE End extreme poverty in all forms by 2030. Yes, it’s an ambitious goal— but we believe it can be done. In 2000, the world committed to cutting the number of people living in extreme poverty by half in 15 years and we met this goal. However, more than 800 million people around the world still live on less than $1.25 a day—that’s about the equivalent of the entire population of Europe living in extreme poverty. Now it’s time to build on what we learned and end poverty altogether.


The United Nations acts on 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform our world by 2030. I have no doubt that this too is the aspiration of each members of the Vincentian Family. Each one of us are called to ensure that our world becomes a just and more equal society where nobody is left behind.

Sustainable Goal 1 is aptly named ‘NO POVERTY’.

Poverty is general scarcity or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. It is a multifaceted concept, which includes social, economic and political elements. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the lack of means necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
Absolute poverty is considered to be about the same independent of location. Relative poverty occurs when people in a country do not enjoy a certain minimum level of living standards as compared to the rest of the population and so would vary from country to country, sometimes within the same country.

After the industrial revolution mass production in factories made producing goods increasing less expensive and more accessible. Of more importance is the modernisation of agriculture, such as fertilisers, to provide enough yield to feed the population. Providing basic needs can be restricted by constrains on government’s ability to deliver services such as corruption, tax avoidance, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of healthcare and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, economic freedom and providing financial services.

Poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. It must be acknowledged that while extreme poverty has fallen globally, progress has been uneven, and 1.6 million people still live in multi-dimensional poverty. There are poor people in every part of the world but disproportionately concentrated. There are special challenges to addressing poverty in least developed countries, land locked developing countries and small island developing states. With many overlapping deprivations, children and young people are especially at risk at being trapped in inter-generational cycles of poverty. We must commit to creating more economic opportunities for people living in poverty.

Eradicating poverty cannot be achieved without sustainably using and protecting bio diversity and addressing climate change and environmental degradation. We must not underestimate the importance of taking targeted measure to eradicated poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, and of implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including social protection floors, based on national priorities, paying particular attention to women, children, older people, indigenous people and persons with disabilities. The need for countries and all relevant stakeholders to ensure and promote a multi-dimensional approach in their work and efforts to eradicate poverty cannot be overstated.

It is of great concern to all that poverty remains a principal cause of hunger and that an estimated 793 million people are under nourished globally. It was a reality of this enormity that motivated St. Vincent 400 years ago, we are called to follow.

Watch: What is Poverty?


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