Absolute Poverty

Topics: Poverty, Africa, Development Assistance Committee Pages: 3 (612 words) Published: May 11, 2010

What is poverty?
Poverty is the economic condition in which people lack sufficient income to obtain certain minimal levels of health services, food, housing, clothing, and education generally recognized as necessary to ensure an adequate standard of living. What is considered adequate, however, depends on the average standard of living in a particular society.

Relative poverty is that experienced by those whose income falls considerably below the average for their particular society. Absolute poverty is that experienced by those who do not have enough food to remain healthy. However, estimating poverty on an income basis may not measure essential elements that also contribute to a healthy life. People without access to education or health services should be considered poor even if they have adequate food.


One of the greatest challenges facing many least developed countries especially in the African continent is the worsening scourge of poverty with its attendant effects of unemployment, malnutrition, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS and destitution. There are many causes of poverty complex and multi-dimensional in nature. They involve among many others gender inequality, economical, political and social exclusion.

Therefore any intervention measures designed to respond to the challenges above should be judged by their ability to positively make a significant dent on poverty at a micro level (lower levels of society such as the households or individual levels). There should be a clear linkage between macro level policies and micro level impacts in terms of reducing poverty or at least providing an environment for poverty reduction. Such a policy should be able to facilitate the delivery of basic needs to ordinary citizens and these include access to affordable food, health, education, shelter, water and sanitation, public information among many others. No one should be alienated from these basic and fundamental human rights on account...
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