Thought for the day 17 October

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Poverty is a major issue around the world: five years ago it was estimated that there were 736m people, mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, living on less than US$1.9/ day. That has probably increased. Poverty affects ability to access food (especially nutritional food), education, healthcare, clean water and safe sanitation, access to justice. It is often accompanied by poor housing, unsafe working conditions (when there is employment) and living in communities where violence, abuse, exploitation are common. In Britain between 4 and 5m children (about 30%) are living within the definition of poverty here. The Children’s Society reports that this year has seen a 107% increase in children receiving emergency food. We have heard the likes of Marcus Rashford, Gordon Brown and Dame Louise Casey on the need for short-term and longer term measures to support them. And that’s only the children. There was a pressing need for change before the pandemic struck – it has only made things worse. Addressing poverty isn’t just something for ‘somebody else’ to do. We may have to bear some of the cost, and we may have to push hard to get politicians to implement changes

Lord, we believe that you have a special concern for the poor, the weak and the vulnerable. We pray for change in the world. Help us to work for change, and to accept any cost to ourselves coming from it

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