Eradication of Poverty Day: Theme, history and significance

New Delhi (NVI): International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on October 17 across the world. It is the day to mark worldwide poverty, hunger, violence, fear, and find ways to mitigate it.

The theme for this year is “Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all”. According to United Nations, the growing recognition of the multi-dimensionality of poverty means that these two issues (social and environmental justice) are inseparably intertwined and that social justice cannot be fully realized without aggressively rectifying environmental injustices at the same time.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through its resolution adopted on December 22, 1992 declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year marks the 27th anniversary of the declaration by the UNGA.

During the coronavirus outbreak, the poorest have the highest risk of exposure to the virus and they have the least access to quality healthcare. And people living in conflict zones still face the most severe threats of hunger and even famine amid COVID-19.

In the wake of the pandemic, global extreme poverty is expected to rise for the first time in over 20 years while an additional 115 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty this year, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In his message to observe the day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres maintained that poor people are the first one to risk the exposure to the virus, and then having the least access to quality healthcare.

In addition to this, despite the world experiencing an unprecedented level of economic development and technological advancement, millions of people living in extreme poverty is a moral outrage.

India’s Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for building a more equitable society on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“Today, let us strive together for the uplift of the downtrodden & build a more equitable society. We need to address the root cause of poverty in all its dimensions, be it economic, social, legal or environmental,” the Vice President Secretariat tweeted quoting Naidu.