Poverty Reduction

 

 

Poverty reduction, or poverty alleviation, is a set of measures, both economic and humanitarian, that are intended to permanently lift people out of poverty.
Measures, like those promoted by Henry George in his economics classic Progress and Poverty, are those that raise, or are intended to raise, ways of enabling the poor to create wealth for themselves as a means of ending poverty forever. In modern times, various economists within the Georgism movement propose measures like the land value tax to enhance access to the natural world for all. Poverty occurs in both developing countries and developed countries. While poverty is much more widespread in developing countries, both types of countries undertake poverty reduction measures.
Poverty reduction occurs largely as a result of overall economic growth. Food shortages were common before modern agricultural technology and in places that lack them today, such as nitrogen fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation methods. The dawn of industrial revolution led to high economic growth, eliminating mass poverty in what is now considered the developed world. World GDP per person quintupled during the 20th century. In 1820, 75% of humanity lived on less than a dollar a day, while in 2001, only about 20% did.
Today, continued economic development is constrained by the lack of economic freedoms. Economic liberalization requires extending property rights to the poor, especially to land. Financial services, notably savings, can be made accessible to the poor through technology, such as mobile banking. Inefficient institutions, corruption, and political instability can also discourage investment. Aid and government support in health, education, and infrastructure helps growth by increasing human and physical capital.
Poverty alleviation also involves improving the living conditions of people who are already poor. Aid, particularly in the medical and scientific areas, is essential in providing better lives, such as the Green Revolution and the eradication of smallpox. Problems with today's development aid include the high proportion of tied aid, which mandates receiving nations to buy products, often more expensive, originating only from donor countries. Nevertheless, some believe (Peter Singer in his book The Life You Can Save) that small changes in the way each of us in affluent nations lives our lives could solve world poverty.