What is Poverty?

Bills, coins and question mark 2

How poor do you have to be to be poor?
Rahman Mohamed

It’s May so many Canadian post-secondary students have just finished writing exams even though they complain about tuition.  But high school students are just starting to think about theirs.  Some are waiting for acceptance letters and starting to think about their September tuition payments.

It’s also been two months since Toronto’s Fact Sheet for Poverty, Housing, and Homelessness was released.  According to that only 604,408 people in Toronto have a low-income.  It also says that the median income for people accessing food banks in 2012 was $691.  The report also says people relied on food banks 804 times to avoid eviction in 2011.  But is this really poverty?

According to the World Bank Indicators (2013) the amount of people living in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day, dropped at a dramatic rate around the world with the exception of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa; although there are less people in extreme poverty, in both regions it’s still larger than 25%.
The rate of completion for primary school in developing countries, specifically those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia has increased, but together with enrollment it’s still less than 100%.  Children may enroll, but they drop out of school because they’re needed to work at home, high school fees, lack of suitable school facilities, and absence of teachers.
In these same regions child malnutrition is a problem.  Though the malnutrition rate has reduced, measured by weight for age, more than 20% of children suffer from malnutrition.  This means that malnutrition is found by comparing a child’s weight to others of the same age.  From here a shortfall in food energy, poor feeding habits and lack of essential dietary nutrients can be found.
So how can you help reduce true poverty?  You can give to charities.
One of these is the World Partnership Walk.
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