The entire world has realized that the foremost reason for poverty is climate change. The primary agenda in the climate change conference in Glasgow (COP26) as well as COP27 —climate change conference in Sham el-Shaikh was global warming. Climate change has engendered the catastrophe of poverty in every part of the world.
There is no denying that at COP27 which took place from November 6-20, 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, countries came together to take action toward achieving the world’s collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement and the Convention. It is anticipated that climate change i.e. drought, flooding, and severe storms could push more than 100 million people into poverty one decade down the line.
Pakistan is one of the countries which has been crippled by climate change. As a direct consequence of the recent floods, Pakistan incurred losses to the tune of $30 billion dollars with one-third of the country under water and on top of that the poverty rate in Pakistan has skyrocketed by 4% hence pushing around 9 million people into poverty.
Pakistan’s poverty rate hovers around 35% at this juncture. In the wake of Covid-19, the poverty ratio in Pakistan stood at 39.3 percent in 2020-21. It is believed that around two million people fell into the quagmire of poverty.
To be precise, along with climate change, it is Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict etc. which has amplified global poverty, let alone Pakistan.
Poverty is not solely the conundrum of Pakistan but a global snag. From 1990 to 2020 until the pandemic outbreak, global poverty including Pakistan’s was on a downward trajectory. However, Covid-19 inflated poverty globally. Around one billion people (16% of the global population) lived below the poverty line in 2010 and almost two billion (35% of the global population) in 1990. These two decades were result-oriented decades. Almost every country fared well in terms of poverty alleviation. Huge strides were made in the attainment of the objectives.
50 million people were impoverished by virtue of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic downturn. In 2021, around 700 million people (9% of the global population) lived below the poverty line i.e. on less than $1.90 a day.
Even today, there are millions who don’t have access to clean water. If remotely available women and girls collectively spend some 200 million hours every day walking long distances to fetch water. It is heartwrenching.
The chasm between the affluent and the impoverished is on the rise. This is a world with and without for millions. This represents the derelict state of affairs particularly in developing countries where accountability is either non-existent or is in the files of the policymakers.