Letter to the Editor: What We Need To Understand About Poverty

Submitted by Katherine McCollum

The most recent data shows that in 2015 around 735 million people were living in extreme poverty. This is approximately 10% of the world population.  Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank, and struggling to meet the basic needs. Today, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s poorest are facing the hardest consequences from the crisis. Regions such as Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are anticipated to see the largest increases in extreme poverty. Unfortunately, more than 160 million children worldwide are at risk of continuing to live in extreme poverty by 2030.

This is not just a problem in foreign regions though. According to Boston Redevelopment Authority, 21.6% of Boston’s population lives in poverty and the poverty rate among family households is 17%. The United States has the resources to be a leader in the fight to end global and domestic poverty. We should ensure that our national and international policies, investments, and actions are aligned with the universal respect for human rights and dignity.  This will inevitably lead to a stronger national economy, improved national security, and more fulfilled citizens.

The Borgen Project is a national campaign that is fighting to end global poverty by making it a focus of U.S. foreign policy and supporting bills that improve living conditions for people in poor countries. As an intern there I encourage you to support the cause at borgenproject.org. I also urge Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, and Lori Trahan to support the congress to pass COVID-19 Relief, protect funding for the International Affairs Budget, and support the Girls LEAD act.


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