The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only pandemic the world is facing; a cruel and harsh poverty pandemic has been looming above our heads for decades, and it’s only going to get worse. For the first time in over 20 years, global extreme poverty is expected to rise, with an additional 88- to 115 million people being pushed into this suffering this new year alone.
According to the World Bank, more than 40 per cent of the world’s population lives below the $5.50 line. As Canadians, it is our duty to help those around us because every single person deserves to live life properly, not having to worry about things such as whether their child is going to die from malnutrition. The informal economy is the source of income for 80 per cent of the population in low income countries. More than ever, people living in poverty need assistance to grow their micro-enterprises or to start new ones to bring home some income.
Canada must support people living in poverty and respond to this economic crisis by increasing funding for micro-entrepreneurs, and demonstrate a sustained commitment to doing so by joining the Partnership for Economic Inclusion, a global partnership that works to increase the income, assets, and economic resilience of extremely poor and vulnerable people. It’s time, Canada, to put our foot forward and stop the one pandemic we know we can.
Sahej Kaur Saini