According to the 2021 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index report conducted by the United Nations Development Programme, 644 million people (half of whom are children) live in poverty. Nearly 85% live in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. However, beyond this, 1.3 billion people are classified as multidimensionally poor – which means people are experiencing some form of poverty in health, education, and/or standard of living. As a member of the world-leading inter-governmental forum, the G7 – whose collective membership possesses 50% of the world’s wealth ($418 trillion) - the United Kingdom has a moral responsibility to help combat global poverty.
The primary UK legislation which can undoubtedly help assuage poverty is the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). This legislation aims to strengthen global peace, security and governance; strengthen resilience and response to crises; promote global prosperity; tackle extreme poverty and help the world’s most vulnerable. Promoting the ODA is also beneficial to expanding the UK’s economy. By assisting people out of poverty, they become consumers, thus opening new potential markets for UK companies.
With the UK’s current political landscape being dominated by the ongoing war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis, we must ensure that the focus is not diverted away from those who need it most – those living in extreme poverty.