The Importance of Goal 1 - No Poverty
Written by: Sarah Le
You may wonder why we as human beings should care about the 17 Sustainable Goals introduced by the United Nations, especially the first goal ‘No Poverty’. The importance of this goal could be explained briefly as the key to open up the development of a better place for every single individual. How? Ever heard of the term “Poverty Cycle”?
Poverty is the root of all human issues, and these issues would gradually link back again to poverty. Poverty leads to the lack of access to nutrition which has negative impacts on human’s physical well-being. Poverty causes social conflicts due to the gap of economic growth between classes. It is also poverty that prevents education from reaching every youth and health care service from improving every life. In other words, the only way to build a better world, we have to deal with poverty as it is the seed of all.
Health issues from the lack of nutrition
Firstly, poverty issues link directly to human well being as it prevents a wide range of population from getting sufficient energy supplies. People cannot afford nutrient or fresh food, like vegetables or grain-based meals. This would, of course, affect their physical well-being.
More seriously, as people get sick, their illness only worsens as they don’t have access to the health care system. This explains why despite all the development in biotechnology, a huge amount of the modern facilities don’t reach these populations.
Educational problems due to the deficiency in mental stability
Poverty not only affects physical but also mental aspects of humans’ well-being. Those with no money would have a higher level of stress. The result would be that they cannot pursue higher educational levels. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 30.8% of dropouts experience poverty, twice higher than those who have a bachelor’s degree with a poverty rate of 13.5 percent. The lack of education opportunities would also introduce an increasing rate of crime and social instability.
Social instability and decline in economic growth
People with neither sustainable income nor power receive the least protection from society. Thus, problems arising with human rights, minorities’ inequality would remain unresolved. It is not uncommon to find violence and discrimination occur with the target is people from lower class. Moreover, people in desperate situations cannot possibly contribute greatly to economic growth, therefore, when community poverty becomes an issue, it is not easy to stabilize the economy.
Limited in showing awareness for other global issues
There are issues with global scale that require every social class to join addressing. However, the population with their own economic problems could not care any less as they have other concerns regarding their own survival. In other words, poverty prevents countless problems from being eliminated completely as the lower working class can’t participate. Global warming, Indigenous rights, unethical animal testing are examples of some worldwide problems that are in need of united help.
We humans are social animals
Last but not least, we are a social species and collaborative instinct is our best strategy to address issues. Therefore, we have to all work together to help one another to grow. That’s why the United Nation comes in and emphasizes that our ultimate one goal is social protection and development.
In conclusion, No Poverty is the first and also the most important end-goal that we as human beings should address under the suggestion of United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Goals. All problems link together, and poverty is the reactant so in order to break this cycle, we have to aim for zero poverty across the planet.