Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015 – from 1.9 billion to 836 million – too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs. Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than US$1.25 a day, many lacking access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.
Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of those living in extreme poverty. New threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring people out of poverty.
The Arab region is the only region in the world where poverty has increased since 2010, based on the extreme poverty headcount (population whose income is less than USD 1.25 per day). In 2010, 4 percent of the population of the Arab region was living below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 per day, while 40 percent were living below USD 2.75 per day.
Lebanon is doing much to help the poorest and the most in the country through targeted programmes and initiatives that aim to lift those furthest behind out of poverty and reduce their vulnerabilities. At the same many remain below the poverty line and risk being left behind.
Since the ultimate function is to provide young people with quality education, the Lebanese University has a responsibility to focus on the importance of the SDGs in research and institutional culture and cooperate with universities or other organizations to prepare conscious leaders in their community. The Lebanese University works on more than a level to serve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in the specialized masters’ programs, such as Master in Energy Physics (SDG 7) and Master in Economic & Development Journalism (SDGs 1, 2& 3). In addition, the agreements concluded with local and international organizations and activities in which university students participate, serve all SDGs.
Poverty is a global phenomenon witnessed by all people everywhere, as there is no decent life when facing poverty, and hence it is not surprising that the first sustainable development goals call for the elimination of poverty in all its forms everywhere. According to a number of international organizations, poverty is defined as the economic situation in which the individual lacks sufficient income to obtain the lowest levels of healthcare, food, clothing, education, and the necessary needs to secure a decent standard of life. The definition was expanded after the Copenhagen summit held in 2006, which stressed the importance of individual access to a minimum of a decent life, ensuring a healthy environment, and opportunities for democratic participation in decision-making in aspects of civic life. In Lebanon, extreme poverty is not the main problem, although the quality of life index indicates that more than (30%) percent of the Lebanese are unable to secure their basic needs, and that this percentage has increased in recent months with the development of the economic crisis and the collapse of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar.
BAU in alignment with the Lebanese government is doing its best to fight poverty in all its shapes by delivering supporting services and programs to low income people and though providing education for all.