17 October – Day for Eradication of Poverty

In our world characterized by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means and financial resources, it is a moral outrage that millions of persons are still living in extreme poverty.

Poverty is not solely an economic issue, but a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses a lack of both income and the basic capabilities to live in dignity.

Persons living in poverty experience many interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations that prevent them from realizing their rights and perpetuate their poverty, including:

  • dangerous work conditions
  • unsafe housing
  • lack of nutritious food
  • unequal access to justice
  • lack of political power
  • limited access to health care

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the declaration by the UN General Assembly of 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

This year also marks the 32nd anniversary of the Call to Action by Father Joseph Wresinski — which inspired the observance of October 17 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty — and the recognition by the United Nations of the day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The 2019 theme for the Day of Eradication of Poverty is: Acting Together to Empower Children, their Families and Communities to End Poverty.

On this day we’re invited to spend some time reflecting on what specific actions we are called to take to support families and children living in poverty in in our neighbourhoods and suburbs or local towns eg support local charities and agencies, make a meal for a family, share some of the produce from your garden or orchard, donate goods & clothing you no longer need.

We are also invited to consider in what ways we can make a difference to people living in poverty in the global world eg by our advocacy, by action to reduce climate change affecting many nations, by calling for an end to war and violence that particularly leaves many women and children living in poverty, or by contributing to fundraising appeals.