The eradication of poverty has become a development priority. At the Millennium Summit, world leaders committed to cutting by half by the year 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty (those whose income is less than a dollar a day). Poverty is seen as a violation of human rights. The 17th October has therefore become a day where we acknowledge the struggle of those living in poverty and is a chance for them to have their voices heard.

The UN has designated the 17th October each year, to be the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It aims to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly developing countries.  The day was founded by the General Assembly in 1993.

Participation of the poor is vital to the day, and has occurred since its inception. They will use their expertise to help contribute to eradicating poverty for good.

Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon commented on this day in 2010,

Last month at the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, world leaders agreed on an action agenda to intensify the global poverty fight. Despite encouraging advances in many corners of the globe, hundreds of millions of people still live in appalling conditions, lacking even the most basic services. Addressing the global jobs crisis is central to changing this picture – to defeating poverty, strengthening economies and building peaceful and stable societies.

Widespread economic uncertainty and fiscal austerity should not be excuses to do less. Rather, they are reasons to do more.
On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us hear the voices of the poor and strive to expand job opportunities and safe working conditions everywhere.

Let us work for a world of decent work for all.’

As we see above, The Millennium Development Goals promote the eradication of poverty. Goal one is devoted to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and it appears the world is on track to meet its Poverty Reduction target. However, since the economic crisis many are finding it difficult to find work and feed their families and are living in extreme poverty. Hunger also spiked in 2009, due to this crisis and progress to end hunger has been stymied with one in 4 children in the developing world being underweight. Hopefully, with this day continuing to raise awareness and funds, the goal will be reached, to eradicate poverty quickly and in our time.

How can I celebrate and commemorate the 17th October- Day of Eradication of Poverty?

The 17th October has a campaign ribbon that one can wear with the following text,  Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty. “ To order and wear this ribbon, please contact:

There are also many events (gatherings, memorials etc) taking place across the UK and Ireland to celebrate the day this year including events in London, Glasgow and Dublin. For more details please see the event website:

Please visit for more information about 17th October.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 1:25 am and is filed under days of significance, General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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