Is the elimination of global poverty a realistic aim?

YES: Global poverty can be realistically eliminated or reduced to insignificance with the proper identification of its root causes and effective implementation of solutions to them.

  1. Governments and nations are increasingly capitalizing and leveraging on free trade and global markets to generate employment and provide the poor with opportunities to overcome poverty.

  2. Increasingly, more rich countries commit to providing aid for less well-off countries, ensuring a more equitable distribution of global wealth and opportunities.

  3. Increased global awareness and interconnectivity has increased the influence and leverage of activist groups and humanitarian organizations to deliver effective poverty alleviation programs and measures to poverty stricken regions.

  4. More in the business sector such as multinational corporations and wealthy businessmen exercise corporate social responsibility and philanthropy towards the poor, empowering them to achieve their full economic opportunity. 


NO: The root causes of poverty are too deeply embedded within our society and human interactions, making the elimination of global poverty a difficult or unrealistic aim.

  1. Absence or under provision of education in both developed and developing countries prevent the poor from learning and developing skills relevant to active participation in the globalized knowledge economy. 

  2. The increasingly severe effects causedby climate change expose the poor to unemployment, devastation of livelihoods and health hazards which overcome any potential gains made from increased trade.

  3. Continued absence of political stability in many developing states expose to corruption and anemic economic growth, negating the gains from foreign aid which may be siphoned by corrupt officials for their own gains.

  4. Civil unrest and conflict prevent the poor in many failed states from resuming their lives and engaging in economically productive activities.

  5. The conflict and insecurity in failed or politically unstable states discourage activist helpers, aid workers and donors from being physically present, drastically reducing the effect of any aid given to the poor.

  6. Many corporations and business sectors continue to exploit the poor in their operations, making it difficult for them to escape poverty.

  7. Unjust business practices and social traditions, such as indentured labor of children, remain in some countries and consign the economically disempowered to lives of poverty from the moment they are born, making the elimination of poverty a difficult task.