Poverty Alleviation

Introduction

Poverty alleviation is the first and most important single greatest challenge which the world faces today . It is a subject that many least developed countries and developing countries have been grappling with for a long time. Poverty Alleviation is now the top priority on the international agenda for the 21st Century as set out in the United Nations’ eight Millennium Development Goals, owing to the fact that approximately 4 billion people live on less than two dollars a day and half of whom subsist on less than one dollar a day.

Poverty is generally associated with deprivation of basic social services such as health, education, food, knowledge, influence over one’s environment and economic infrastructure that help improve the quality of life at various levels of income. – amoung other things that make difference between truly living and merely surviving.Amongst these, education is the most important as it enables the poor to get out of poverty over time.Other indicators that contribute to improved living standards and life expectancy are health care and environment.

Poverty has many dimensions in Pakistan. It is characterzed by wide variations between urban and rural areas, geographical regions, and gender. Poverty in Pakistan is predominantly rural.The poor in Pakistan have not only low incomes but they also lack access to basic needs such as education, health and poor enviornment. These undermine their capabilities, limits their opportunities to secure employment, results in their social exclusion and exposes them to exogenous shocks. The vicious cycle of poverty is accentuated when the

governance structures exclude the most vulnerable from the decision making process.

The human development indicators for Pakistan are still low despite significant progress in recent years Efforts to eradicate poverty are to be approached through multi-disciplinary systems, targeting issues of improving education and health, protecting natural resources, preventing impacts of natural disasters, ensuring economic and social well-being, and improving capacity and institutional development.

With this background Foundation for Progress has embarked upon a poverty alleviation program under the ‘Progress’ agenda of Building Partnership, Promoting, Sustainability to tackle the menace of poverty, through a three pronged approach, focusing on education, health and environment, the areas critical to sustainable poverty alleviation.