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Five ways Diakonia is fighting against poverty

Today is the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and Diakonia is one of the organizations that contributes each day, all year round, towards achieving this goal. Here are five things that we and all the organizations and people we work with all over the world are doing to reduce poverty.

10/18/2016 Publisher: Victoria Gillberg

Eradicating poverty is the first and perhaps the greatest of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. It includes eradicating all extreme poverty – that is, people living on less than the equivalent of just over one US dollar per day – by 2030. There are many ways to reduce poverty – here are five things that we and our partner organizations do:

Empower women
If women have as much power as men in a society, they also have the same conditions for owning land, earning money and taking part in the political debate, for example. As 70 percent of those living on under a dollar a day are women, poverty in the world is declining as women gain more influence and power over their own lives.

Work to ensure that everyone is aware of their right
If you know what you are entitled to just by being a human being – such as deciding over your own life and your own body, not being badly treated physically or emotionally, or being permitted to own land and have political influence – well, then you also know that you have the right to fight for a better life.

Raise people’s voices
To be able to exercise influence, you need to be heard. Poor people often have scant opportunities to be heard in public debate. But people are stronger together, which is why Diakonia is working intensively on ensuring that people are able to organize themselves and thus strengthen their political voice.

Build storm protection
Regardless of whether they take the form of armed conflicts, floods or storms, crises hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. By reinforcing people’s ability to withstand crises – this may involve better housing, growing crops in a way that can cope with drought or having a good warning system – you also lower the risk of them losing everything when a crisis strikes.

Peace is not just the absence of war or organized violence. It is having the opportunity to live a dignified life without constant fear of violence or conflict flaring up. A peaceful environment offers good opportunities to leave poverty behind.