The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was established by the United Nations on December 22, 1992. It is commemorated annually on October 17 and serves as a reminder of the need for suitable national-level initiatives to battle poverty and destitution.
This day in 2022 comes on the heels of a World Bank report that paints a bleak picture and confirms that poverty is still an issue of great concern in all regions of the world. According to the United Nations, 10% of the world’s population, or 734 million people, live on less than $1.90 a day, with an estimated 75 to 95 million additional people in this year 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
45% of the Nigerian population lives in poverty, and the World Bank estimates that an additional 95 million will be plunged into extreme poverty due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the effects of the pandemic, the vulnerable population also must deal with the adverse impact of climate change in most parts of Nigeria. There is a heavy dependence on the environment for the survival of the vulnerable population, and they are usually the first victims in times of droughts and floods.
Currently, major communities in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State in North Central Nigeria, have been hit by floods, displacing about 1.5 million people, with records of 500 deaths, 705,664 hectares of farmland destroyed, and properties lost. This precariousness that vulnerable societies face makes them even more susceptible to various health risks through contaminated water, scarcity of nutritious food, unsanitary housing conditions, limited access to healthcare services, and so on. Of course, as Joseph Wrensinki rightly notes, “wherever people are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated…”
Providing support for the poorest remains a priority for us at the Nigerian Solidarity Support Fund, and we have chosen to commemorate this day by calling for attention to the misery and isolation which the people in Lokoja are disposed to. We call for support to provide the needed succor and help for the affected communities. For more information on ways you can help, visit nema.gov.ng
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