Poverty is a multiple fold phenomenon in today’s globalizedworld. It is ingrained in various causes and there are also multiple ways to doaway with it. Measuring poverty is imperative as the indicator will help toelect that is poor, how many people are poor and identify the different typesof poor people. So that different approaches can be used to help them.In the oxford dictionary, the word poverty is defined as” Thestate of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.” In 1998, UNdescribed poverty in a statement as a violation of human dignity whereby humansare denied from having choices and opportunities.
The World Bank delineatespoverty as a pronounced deprivation in well-being and it encompasses variousfactors. People in poverty might have low incomes and so are incapable topurchase basic goods and services necessary for survival with pride. Povertybrings the poor to extremely poor levels of health and education, absence ofclean water and sanitation, lack of or inadequacy of physical security, lack ofvoice, and not enough capacity and opportunity to make one’s life better.Generally, there are many ways to ration poverty. Some distinguishthe poor by observing at their economic and non-economic well-being whereas,some look at whether the poor falls into the basket of extreme poverty orrelative poverty. The measure of economic well-being takes into reason the incomeof the people. The gain of this measure is that the data is quick to retrieve,easier to measure, and generally updated regularly.
The measure of non-economicwell-being takes into account the indicators of education, health andnutrition, environment and, empowerment and participation in society. All ofthese pointers make it easier to assess the health and well-being of the peoplein a long term trend moreover, poverty is not easy to measure because it can befurther defined in both extreme and relative terms. Absolute poverty means lackof the skill to meet fundamental human needs. Extreme poverty may also becalled as absolute poverty which says that one may be considered as poor ifthey earn much less than other people in their area of habitation, but ifcompared to others in another society, they may not be considered as poor. Progress in hunger reduction has been momentous despite the puzzlingglobal environment over the last decade. Major challenges have involved risingunemployment, higher food and energy prices, volatile commodity prices,economic recessions, frequent extreme weather events and natural disasters, andpolitical instability and civil strife. These difficulties have braked downprogress in reducing extreme poverty and hunger in some of the most weaknations of the world.Normally, those nations, communities and people are trappedin poverty which are too lazy to explore natural resources, indifferent inlife-oriented education and inconsiderate about life overall.
The Quran inspires humanity to range over the earth to searchfor Allah’s bounties; all turfs are open for human search and use. It is forman to discover the world and make use of natural resources. The lot on earthhas been created for man; it is his duty to make use of all divine blessings.Thus exploration and exploitation of natural resources is the prime duty of allhumans. But man must remain watchful of his obligation towards nature. He hasto leave a much better world for coming generationIf we look around there is mismanagement at every level.thereare people having meals at expensive hotels and then there are people who donoteven have clean drinking water. We seepeople travelling in air-conditioned cars while on the same roads people arepacked like sardines in rundown buses and also seated precariously on the roofsof vehicles.
We see children studying in elite schools while there are poor childrenwho have nowhere to study. Looking at historyreveals that all civilizations have remained divided on the basis of resourcesin all ages. There is difference in the allocation of resources among them.Therefore, those who have more resources are more powerful with greater status.Many societies have seen clatters between people due to income inequality.The need of the hour is robust policy making.
For thispurpose we need to focus on the causes rather than the symptoms. There arenumber of problems usually in a vicious cycle, circling in the society since decades.In wealthiest nations, poor may not be living in absolute poverty. Some mayhave access to some luxuries other don’t. in terms of their standing in thecountry, they are relatively poor.Even relative poverty can have debilitating consequencessuch as poor health, inclination towards drugs and crimes and poor education.
Majorly, many of these things are hard to measure, such as social cohesion andthe level of trust and comfort people will have in interacting with one anotherin the society. Nonetheless, over the years, numerous studies have shown thatsometimes the poor in wealthy countries can be unhappier or finding it harderto cope than poor people in poorer countries.Policy making for the solution of poverty should have a twinfunction of : The rate of growth, and Changes in income distribution. Additional keyfactors to reducing poverty will be: The reduction in inequality The reduction in income differencesGlobally, there are two scenarios at play, one is the growthin positive terms and the other is the negative change in income distribution.Pakistani hasn’t been saved from the reins of poverty andhas been entrenched in this country for a long time.A number of factors explain the existence of an increase inpoverty in the last decade .Majorly, poor governance is the cause of poverty inPakistan.it not only has enhanced poverty and vulnerability but is also asignificant cause of less business and Low FDI inflows .
Governance problemshave also resulted in inefficiency in provision of social services, which hashad serious insinuations for human development in the country. The lack of public confidence in state institutions,including the police and judiciary, have battered their legitimacy and unswervinglycontributed to making worse conditions of public security and law and orderduring the 1990s. With respect to economic factors, failure in the GrossDomestic Product (GDP) growth rate is the direct cause of the rise in povertyover the last decade. In the 1990s, development declined in all sectors and wasslower than average in labor-intensive sectors. However, the causes of the stoppagein growth may be divided into two categories, i.e. structural and othersPoor governance is the key to cause of poverty in Pakistan withit being more long-term issues, which have persisted due to declininggovernance. Among the other causes, are structural ones, including the heavy debtburden and declining competitiveness of the Pakistan economy in the progressivelyskilled global economy are significant.
While the first occurred due to economicmismanagement, the other was because of Pakistan’s low level of humandevelopment.Another big reason is the falling public investment, in additionto unsuccessful attempts at macroeconomic stabilization, adversely affectedprivate investment. In tandem, reduction in tariffs, exhaustion of simpleimport substitution opportunities, and elimination of export subsidies in the1990s meant that international competitiveness became an increasingly importantdeterminant of investment opportunities in Pakistan. Due to the low level ofhuman development, significantly inappropriate government intervention and poorstate of physical infrastructure, many areas of the economy where Pakistan wascompetitive were not many. As a result, total fixed investment declinedsignificantly, bringing about a fall in the economic growth rate.
The existence of inescapable poverty, wherein an importantproportion of the populace rests poor over a long period of time is stronglylinked with the structure of society. Cultivated land is highly unequallydistributed in Pakistan. About 47 percent of the farms are smaller than 2hectares, accounting for only 12 percent of the total cultivated area. Accessto land, which is the basic factor of production, is crucial to reduce povertyin rural areas. Pervasive inequality in land ownership intensifies the degreeof vulnerability of the poorest sections of rural society, because the effectsof an unequal land distribution are not limited to control over assets. Thestructure of rural culture, in areas where land ownership is highly unequal,tends to be strongly ranked, with large landowners or tribal chiefs trainingconsiderable control over the decisions, personal and otherwise, of peopleliving in the area under their influence, as well as over their access tosocial infrastructure facilities. Environmental squalor is also a cause ofpoverty in Pakistan. The environment-poverty link shows itself most specifically in health effects.
For example, waterborne diseases are widespread because 17 percent of the urbanand 47 percent of the rural population does not have access to clean drinkingwater. The poor also tend to be more sensitive to the effects of air and waterpollution, both in rural and urban areas, given their limited access to qualityhealth care. The spread of disease worsens poverty firstly by persuading the poor todevote ever rising proportions of their restrained income to health costs, andsecondly by lowering productivity. Depending on what is causing it, there can be varyingsolutions to poverty. Given that poverty is not easy to solve and the longhistory of anti-poverty measures have often been failing, successful action onpoverty reduction is possible to cut the large numbers of people who are still inpoverty. One of the important and most effective elements of democracy istransparency. Which is lacking in most of the developing countries,specifically in Pakistan.
A few methods to tackle corruption to promotedemocratic and transparent procedures between donor nations and their creditorsas follows:i. To bring back justice in which internationalcreditors play the role of plaintiff, judge and jury, in their own court ofinternational finance. ii.
Introduce discipline in sovereign lending andborrowing activities to prevent future crises. iii. Introduce accountability tocounter corruption in borrowing and lending activities for both creditor anddebtor nations. iv. Strengthen local democratic institutions and empower themto decide and influence inappropriate policy/rules. v. Encourage greater understandingand economic literacy among citizens to challenge and express dissatisfactionthose responsible of wrongdoings.ii.
A trustedgovernment is likely to result in a positive political and economic developmentfor the countries. The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is anorganization that looks at public budgets by governments around the world. Thereports are produced every 2 years. Transparency and accountability of thebudgetary process for a number of countries around the world are evaluated andranked accordingly.iii.
Theimportance of budget transparency is as follows • Making budgets transparentwith adequate checks and balances can enhance the credibility of policydecisions. This will avoid corruption and wasteful spending. iv. • Budget transparency is importance to many ofthe international development discourses such as climate change mitigationfinancing, Millennium Development Goals, accounting for the sale of naturalresources and international aid given to developing countries.v.
Literacyprograms are needed for the poor. The reducing of poverty can only be donethrough actions of education development assistance and financial contributionfrom wealthiest countries in education development. The fight against povertyand the promotion of an equal education must become a priority for allespecially the governments. Development initiatives should be in the form ofcooperation to transfer skills to targeted population. Quality education ismost critical solution so that they can help themselves to come out frompoverty circle. Priority must be given to children aged 6 and below so that thehabit to learn and develop study technique can be instilled, and thus have agreater chance to perform and excel in the elementary, high school, and collegeyears.
What children learn before the age of 6, have long lasting impact intheir minds and hearts. This will help to shape their characters andpersonalities the most. In addition to quality basic education, secondary andhigher education, vocational training, and skill acquisition throughout lifeare indispensable tools to eradicate povertyvi. Agriculture needs to be modernized forincreased productivity and profitability, innovation in agro-processing,technology innovation, and upgrading the use of technologies for valueaddition. Subsequently, with a critical mass of high-quality educated people atdifferent levels, it can effectively respond to the sustainable developmentchallenges of nations.vii. Political Instability, Wars, Civil Wars Lownational income per capita increases the risk of civil war .
Low income percapita also tends to prolong existing conflicts, and that a decline in percapita income can make more countries vulnerable to civil conflict. Becausecivil war impairs economic performance, exacerbating poverty, poor countries thatexperience conflict are at risk of getting stuck in a conflict trap .Theoverall and crucial policy recommendation to reduce conflict risk is needed tospur economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries,especially in the poor states. Policies that increase per capita income in thepoorest countries will reduce their conflict risk. Ultimately this will reducepoverty level of the involving country.viii.
Naturaland Geographical Characteristics Drought is one of the main contributionfactors why thousands of Pakistanis are hungry. An innovative approach of waterresource management in Syria, for example, has been introduced and expected tobenefit 18,000 people hit by a long drought Innovation of agricultural systemfor adaptation such as farmer production practices, market approaches,technological and policy innovations is also important to adapt to the naturaland geographical factor . New crop varieties that can better withstand drought,water-logging, increased crop diseases and pests are also needed. Agriculturalintegrated value chain such as easy accessibility to finance, weather cropinsurance, crop storage and accessibility to local and regional markets arealso needed to improve or increase the income of the population. Most of thefarmer farms the land continuously, resulting in fertile farmlands aredecreasing. The individual farmers have limited knowledge and accessibility touse fertilizer to sustain plant growth. Therefore, technical and financialassistance must be given such as, appropriate tools and support, skills andknowledge, so that productivity of the land could be increased and sustained.
ix. IneffectiveGovernance & Government Policies Responsible governance of developingcountries is needed to reduce or eliminate the poverty. Important policyintroduction in the developing countries such as debt relief, increased marketaccessibility, improved incentives for private sector development, increasedforeign direct investment, sustained support for civil society especiallyunderprivileged, free press, women’s rights etc., are needed to prevent andeventually will help towards eliminating the poverty. x. Creatinga Framework for Economic Growth and Transformation The government must becommitted to providing economic policy incentive for promoting private sectorinvestment and increase foreign direct investment to reduce poverty such as,containing inflation rates to single digits, controlling public expenditurewithin available financial resources and maintaining a fair foreign exchangemarket.xi.
Thegovernment must also commit to public expenditure and ensure that money spentis targeted at improving the welfare of the poor 2. Ensuring Good Governanceand Security The government must ensure that the issues of conflict resolution,human rights and security of life and property are protected xii. .
Specific attention must also be given toaccountability and democracy as necessary facets of good governance andsecurity. 3. Increasing the Ability of the Poor to Raise Their Incomes Thegovernment must also be committed to ensure that the public has easy access tomarket information, accessibility and infrastructure. xiii. The construction and maintenance of a good roadnetwork is required for market accessibility of agriculture from rural andremote areas. The process of building the country’s infrastructure alsocontributes to poverty reduction by creating employment in the rural areas. Thegovernment needs to promote secure access and rights to land, credit marketsand promotion of improvements to land . xiv.
Subsequently this will increase productivity andtransform the agriculture development. Poverty has resultedin individuals not having choices and opportunities to get fundamental needsfor survival including food, shelter and clothing. Subsequently, they areunable to participate effectively in society towards development of a strongcommunity as they lack these basic capacities. It leads to insecurity,powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. Themain causes of poverty are corruption; education; political instability andwars; natural and geographical characteristics; and ineffective localgovernance and government policies.
The fact that poverty is quite multi-dimensionaland varies from place to place and from society to society, it is important toidentify the causes of poverty. The most appropriate solving method perhaps isto examine the dimensions highlighted by the poor from respective location. Theroot causes of poverty faced by the community need to be identified, so thatthe efforts to eradicate poverty will give sustainable progress.