Nobel for poverty

Muna Al-Fuzai

Three US citizens, including one woman, have won the Nobel Prize in Economics for their work on poverty; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stated last week that the award is given to achievements of individuals who are working for a very important issue, in this case, global poverty.

The three economists were rewarded for introducing a new approach to obtain reliable answers about the best way to reduce global poverty .The prize will be divided equally among the three researchers and the winners’ research has improved their ability to fight global poverty, the academy said in a statement.

The Economics Prize, the latest of Nobel Prize, is officially known as the “Bank of Sweden Award for Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel”, established in 1968 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Bank of Sweden. This year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abe Ahmed, the architect of reconciliation with Eritrea and a pioneer of reforms in his country, also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I believe that this year’s award has been based on real achievements of the candidates and ones that the people are in desperate need. The Ethiopian Prime Minister seems energetic and eager to unite the African continent with peace, especially since many countries there have witnessed civil wars and political conflicts. Africa needs peace, it’s about time and no one can bring peace to it better than its own people.

As for the issue of poverty, I believe that this issue has been ignored, whether intentionally or not, for many years by many governments in the world.

The World Bank publishes a report entitled “Solving the Poverty puzzle” that addresses poverty rates around the world and definitions of poverty. Currently, poverty is described as those who live on less than $3.20 a day in middle-income countries. Extreme poverty is for people living on less than $1.90 a day. According to October 2018 World Bank report, eradicating extreme poverty remains a huge challenge. The most prominent info of the report was that 83% of the world’s poor people live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The United Nations in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has published an index of multidimensional poverty that measures poverty in terms of health, education and standard of living.

Sadly, the poorest of Arab countries are now Yemen and the news that Iraq came in the report is sad news because it is a rich country in natural and human resources and I really hope that the war in Yemen will end and Iraq will build a solid economy.

I think ending poverty in the world is a beautiful dream. But income inequality has worsened not improved in the last decade and for those living the nightmare of daily struggling to survive, nothing except a real and fair income is going to make a difference.

I believe that poverty is a real dilemma because natural resources are shrinking in exchange for population growth, a fact that does not need a world genius. It is good to see the Nobel Prize goes to those who speak and think about it as a puzzle that must be solved.
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