United Nations Development Programme
The Eradication of Poverty
Dominion of Canada
Camille Gerville-Réache, Forest Hills Northern High School
In 2017, Canada’s poverty line reached a historically low 9.5%. Placing the eradication of poverty as a top priority, Canada recognizes that nearly half the global population, including 1 billion children, are living in poor conditions. It is evident that poverty stretches far beyond low income: homelessness, lack of education, lack of proper nourishment, lack of clean water all fabricate the complex issue we are gathered to resolve.
To most accurately reflect the needs of its families, Canada established the Official Poverty Line. If Canadians cannot afford a market basket of the most modest necessities, calculated by Statistics Canada, they are considered to be in poverty. Canada’s Official Poverty Line differentiates for a variety of communities and is regularly updated for the most accurate results.
In 2018, Canada released its first poverty reduction strategy, the $22 billion Opportunity for All policy. Opportunity for All is constructed with three pillars. The first pillar, Dignity, is formatted to aid Canadians in poverty by ensuring necessities such as safe and affordable shelter, proper nourishment, and free healthcare. The second pillar, Opportunity and Inclusion, promotes full participation in the economy and equal opportunity to encourage laborers. The third pillar, Resilience and Security, concerns the prevention of middle-class individuals falling into or back into poverty. Opportunity for All holds a concrete objective of reducing poverty 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030 with 2015 the base year.
As Opportunity for All also promotes full participation in the economy and equal opportunity, Canada fully encourages other nations to employ, encourage, and empower women in the workforce to expand economic growth. Canada further recommends the promoting of child benefits: a monthly payment made to assist struggling families in raising children. By February, Canada had already surpassed its 2020 poverty reduction goal. 825,000 Canadians have been lifted out of poverty. The Canada Child Benefit (CCB), along with a strong labor market, is largely credited for this achievement.
Canada acknowledges not all methods of Canada’s solutions are applicable to every country; funds are not always available. However, policies constructed off of the three pillars should be executed, and a fair official poverty line individualized per country. Furthermore, progressive initiatives should be taken in these situations, such as social spending, free healthcare, and more labor/women’s rights, and child benefits as they will secure the protection of citizens and promote economic growth. Canada anticipates working with nations for a better and more secure future for all persons.
- Camille Gerville-Reache