International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, an annual event intended to “promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries,” is 17 October. The theme of the Day this year is “building a sustainable future — coming together to end poverty and discrimination.”
“On this Day we recommit to think, decide and act together against extreme poverty — and plan for a world where no one is left behind,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Our aim must be prosperity for all — not just a few.”
We have issued a briefing entitled How Population Growth Affects Poverty Reduction to mark the Day. In the briefing, we describe how poverty reduction efforts have been hindered by high fertility rates and unsustainable population growth.
To confront the challenges, policymakers must prioritise women’s empowerment, increase access to family planning services and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights. Such polices help in addressing many issues — not just poverty. This is because population growth strains natural resources, contributes to environmental degradation and has numerous other deleterious effects.