September 16, 2019
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 In GLIMUN2019: Eradication of Poverty

Country: Fiji
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Eradication of Poverty
Delegate: William Bellinger
School: Williamston High School

 

According to the World Bank Group, 736 million people live on less than $1.90 a day.  Set as one of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eradication of poverty has held spotlight to many within the United Nations.  As defined by the UN, poverty is defined as “lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society.” More specifically, poverty typically means a human is lacking access to food, clothing, shelter, education, and other necessities for life.  Unfortunately, the cycle of poverty is hard to break out of. Once out of poverty, the door remains open; those who have escaped may easily reenter. One major challenge is sustaining those who have been pulled out of poverty. In recent years, the levels of poverty on a global scale have decreased substantially.  Despite this, much is left to be accomplished by the United Nations.

According to the Borgen, 28.3% of the population (around 250,000 people) lives under the national poverty line of Fiji as of 2017.  Fiji’s economy relies on tourism and exports similar to other nearby tropical islands.  Despite boasting a fairly strong infrastructure, Fiji’s large poverty percentage may be attributed to the current political turmoil.  The racial makeup of this nation is primarily comprised of Fijians and Indo-Fijians. Being historically different economic classes, the tensions amongst these two cultural groups have resulted in unfair treatment in both directions.  The Fijian politicians have thus allocated resources unequally, leaving many to suffer in poverty. In the economically inferior classes, typically in rural areas, employment opportunities are minimally available. Similar to the global trend, Fiji’s poverty rates have been decreasing in recent times, yet the percentage remains far from acceptable.

 

In order to solve the poverty crisis in Fiji and other nations alike, it is imperative to provide long term solutions rather than just aid packages.  Although aid packages are readily accepted and encouraged, they only provide short term solutions and miniscule long term benefits. Fiji is hoping to implement long term economical solutions to the poverty crisis such as the invigoration of local markets.  In the meantime, as stated, it is essential that nations facing the largest populations of impoverished shall be granted supplies for the short run by willing and able nations. Unfortunately, Fiji is unable to provide aid due to its own lack of resources. Still, Fiji is excitedly awaiting committee and all of the solutions to be presented. 

 

  • William Bellinger

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