This writing is going to delve on outlining some of the causes of poverty and prescribe solutions thereof so as to eradicate poverty in Zimbabwe.
“A government ministry of poverty could help us change course; a department focusing on prevention first is essential if we are to find our way out of poverty”, John Bird once said.
More than 20 ministries recently announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and no single ministry directly deals with poverty as a stand alone issue.
The majority of Zimbabweans, 62 percent of the population lives below the poverty datum line.
Statistics also show that 95 percent of Zimbabweans are not formally employed.
According to ZimStats, more than 50 percent of the population can not afford a balance diet. Most of them can not afford meat and survive on vegetables as relish.
With the majority of Zimbabweans being poor, Mnangagwa should have created a Ministry of poverty which was going to be responsible for promulgating measures to eradicate poverty to start with.
The ministry would have been responsible for understanding the causes of poverty in the country and go further in crafting tailor made solutions for the scourge along the ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’ mantra.
One of the main causes of poverty is inequality.
Inorder to eliminate poverty there is need to achieve equity.
By equality, the writeup mean that every person must have an equality of results versus equality of resources.
This may require additional resources for the furthest behind, in order to ensure that they have all they need to succeed.
There are systemic barriers that lead to groups of people going without representation in their communities which in turn leaves them further behind in terms of resources and opportunity.
In order for a community, or society, to eradicate poverty, all groups and identities must be involved in creating solutions.
Fighting poverty should take an an interactive approach were all stakeorders equally parricipate in the process.
Gender inequality is one of the biggest inequalities that need to be addressed.
According to the United Nations’ (UN) High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment, women’s unpaid labour adds up to $10 trillion per year which is about 13% of the global GDP.
Food and Agriculture Organization points out that women own less than 20% of agricultural land in parts of Africa and Asia, yet make up 60% of the agricultural workforce.
Former FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in 2016 said, “Women are the backbone of our work in agriculture…when women have opportunities, the yields on their farms increase — also their incomes. Natural resources are better managed.
Nutrition is improved. And livelihoods are more secured.”
Policy makers in Zimbabwe should commit to climate change solutions and climate justice.
Resilience against climate change is especially important and deserves its own mention.
According to the World Bank, climate change could force an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty over the next decade without any urgent action taken.
A solution to poverty that goes beyond any humanitarian mandate is a governmental commitment to climate justice, particularly on the parts of high-income entities whose carbon emissions are higher than those of the low-income entities which hit hardest by climate change.
Poverty can be eradicated in the country by building resilience in the people.
Resilience means working with communities to prepare them to deal with disasters whether manmade or natural in advance.
It also means adapting to long-term changes (such as fighting climate change with Climate Smart Agriculture or creating programs to support the education, safety, and livelihoods of refugees).
Poverty happens when a high amount of inequality meets a high amount of risk.
Concern is cycle of poverty which shows that inequality multiplied by risk equals poverty.
To offset this, there is need to ensure that the most vulnerable people and communities are able to build resilience.
While the meaning of that phrase has changed in recent years, it means something very concrete in humanitarian aid and development.
These solutions to poverty help to offset the level of vulnerability communities may have in the face of risks or even reduce the level of risk.
Poverty in Zimbabwe can also be eradicated through education.
According to UNESCO, if all students in low-income countries had just basic reading and writing skills (nothing else), an estimated 171 million people could escape extreme poverty.
If all adults completed secondary education, we could cut the global poverty rate by more than half.
Education develops skills and abilities, corrects some of the imbalances that come out of marginalization, and decreases both risk and vulnerability.
Some of the key areas of focus for making sure that education is truly for all involve breaking down the barriers to education; creating access to school in remote areas, supporting teachers in their work to deliver quality education, and making sure that education is available to children living in fragile contexts and the government must implement the free primary education policy.