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Have you ever thought about what poverty actually is? At first glance it seems a concept we can all perfectly understand, but do you know what it really means? Poverty is about so much more than a mere lack of resources.

Poverty means malnutrition, no access to education and other basic services, discrimination, exclusion... There are some alarming world facts that we need reverse as quickly as possible, such as: one in four children under the age of five are smaller than the appropriate height for their age. They all belong to the 836 million people that still live in extreme poverty, having to survive on less than $1.25 per day (2015).

Ending poverty is the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN in September 2015, when more than 150 heads of state and government met at the Sustainable Development Summit to approve Agenda 2030.

Key facts for understanding world poverty.#RRSSKey facts for understanding world poverty.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Key facts for understanding world poverty [PDF]

Why is the Goal 1 so important?

Today millions of people are struggling to satisfy their most basic needs, such as health, education, sanitation, access to drinking water and affordable as well as sustainable energy, etc. Even if largely focused in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, this problem also affects developed countries: 30 million children, in the richest countries in the world, grow up within the confines of poverty.

The main causes of poverty are unemployment, social exclusion and the increased vulnerability of certain populations to natural disasters and disease. All of such generate inequality and, since growing disparity is detrimental to economic development and undermines social cohesion, tension and conflict may arise.


Even if poverty has been halved since the year 2000, we still need to intensify efforts to increase incomes and alleviate suffering for those most vulnerable. The objectives for 2030 are:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty throughout the world.
  • Put appropriate social protection systems and measures into practice.
  • Guarantee that everyone has the same rights to economic resources and access to basic services.
  • Foster the resilience of those individuals in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure to climatic, economic, social and environmental disasters.
  • Guarantee a significant mobilisation of resources through improved developmental cooperation.
  • Create sound policy frameworks to support investment in measures to eradicate poverty.

 Committed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals