Microfinance And Micro Franchises: A Solution To Poverty

1242 words - 5 pages

With the rise of the morning sun, most of us awake to a day of possibilities, but for those in extreme poverty daybreak brings only anxiety and despair as they try to survive on little to nothing. Over one billion people are currently living in extreme poverty, unable to fathom a future free from hunger, disease and oppression. Extreme poverty, defined as living on $1.25 a day or less, traps generations into an arduous existence with few opportunities to escape. Helping to eliminate extreme poverty means first understanding that it is possible to provide people with a pathway out and if it is possible, we therefore have the responsibility to do so. Millions die each year as a result of extreme poverty. While few would argue that we should avoid saving the lives of millions, many may argue that the situation is hopeless. Dispelling this myth is vital to making the public understand that we have the tools within our grasp to end extreme poverty within the next 30 years. According to the 2010 Millennium Development Goals Report, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty in Eastern Asia dropped from an 60% in 1990 to an astounding 16% in 2005. This represents a remarkable achievement for such a short time frame and should serve as evidence that with focused effort we are capable of eliminating extreme poverty. The path towards eliminating extreme poverty will not be easy, but through innovation, ingenuity and involvement we can achieve this goal.

Involvement should include both the community and whenever possible existing governmental agencies. Having a pre-established framework in place can expedite the process of helping to stabilize a community in crisis and build the groundwork for growth. Governmental agencies, therefore, should be encouraged to participate in the lifting of its citizens out of extreme poverty. This, however, can be a daunting task if the government is riddled with corruption or benefits from the disenfranchisement of certain segments of the population. Goals must clearly be established to reward governments who work to uphold human rights and denied to those who do not. For example, if a government wishes to qualify for assistance or debt forgiveness they should be expected to meet certain human rights achievements. As rates of health and education increase, so too do the rates of financial assistance or debt forgiveness. If human rights records are not improved, further funding is denied to those ill performing governments and redirected to community-based programs aimed at improving the well being of its members.

Community groups play an invaluable role in alleviating poverty within a region. Creating an alliance with the community allows them to express their ideas, concerns and opinions. It protects against the unforeseen challenges and misused resources that can result if local customs or markets are overlooked as the development plan is formulated. The establishment of these community...

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