Committee: United Nations Development Program
Topic: Eradication of Poverty
Delegate: Amanda Jaworsky
School: Williamston High School
Poverty is an age-old problem that has plagued humanity since its very inception. Although often accepted as part of life, as the large disparity between poor and rich has made itself more known over the years it has become clear that this inequality and struggle cannot continue. Over 1.3 billion people in the world are currently living in extreme poverty and almost half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population own 45% of the world’s wealth and the world’s wealthiest (those owning more than 100k in assets) own 84% of global wealth. These statistics are a clear sign of the unfair and unfortunate economic systems that build extreme wealth for a few who are capitalizing off of the labor of the abused. The massive disparity between the world’s wealthiest and the world’s poorest has been perpetuated for too long-it is time for the UNDP to step up and dismantle the systems that have supported the inequality we see today.
Afghanistan is no stranger to the struggles of poverty. In fact, as one of the poorest countries in the world, approximately 42% of Afghanistan’s population lives below the poverty and another 20% is on the verge of falling into poverty. The main reasons for this extreme poverty are the political unrest in the area, years of natural disasters plaguing the agricultural-based production, and low levels of investment. At times, Afghanistan has experienced economic growth, however this growth has only worked to widen the gap between rich and poor. Afghanistan has struggled to achieve any success in the area of poverty for many years, and the only successes they have had so far have come in the form of international aid. Most poor people in Afghanistan live in rural areas and do not have access to education; they also rely on agriculture and work as farm laborers for their main source of income. Both of these elements mean that Afghanistan needs to work on strengthening their agricultural sector as well as improving education rates to give children wider options for their future.
What Afghanistan would love to see from the international community is a stronger focus on international aid being allocated to the root causes of poverty. For Afghanistan these root causes include funding for better education in rural areas where literacy rates are low and increased investment in the agricultural sector. Better education means the possibility for better jobs and a more well-trained workforce, which would strengthen Afghanistan’s economy. Further investment into one of Afghanistan’s main industries means more people employed and larger income for farmers, who make up a majority of those in poverty. Although these two goals are relatively specific to Afghanistan, on a more general level Afghanistan suggests that the UNDP focuses on creating a committee to oversee different economic areas within poverty-stricken countries and create a plan for improving the industries that most people in poverty are a part of as well as increase international funding for such projects. Although the road towards reaching a world without poverty is a long one, Afghanistan believes that if the international community binds together and faces the socioeconomic issues the world is seeing today, by the grace of Allah poverty will be eradicated.
- Amanda Jaworsky