How can you help to create a poverty-free world?


I founded Grameen Bank to help poor people lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit (offering loans under $200 without collateral). There are so many creative ways that you can make a difference in the lives of the poor. What can you do to help create a poverty-free world?

Find out more about how the Grameen Bank makes a difference:

4,973 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Professor Yunus has done some amazing work lifting raising families from poverty the world with his microloan program. I am inspired by this work and think it funny that anyone would say it's not possible when he's made such a huge impact.

    It is my understanding that the poverty problem isn't a lack of resources to feed and shelter everyone, it is a problem with the distribution of these resources. One of the things Professor Yunus has figured out is how to get some of the money in the world, we all know some have a little too much, to the people that don't have it. I think if we leave the poverty issue up to people that have power, we will be waiting for quite some time. However, people that are saddened by what they see around them are doing what they can to make a difference. And it works! There is a doctor in Brazil that saw the same impoverished kids returning to her hospital again and again. She started a program to follow up with these kids and help their families get out of poverty so that they wouldn't live in conditions that kept them returning to the hospital. There is a teacher in India that has helped to reform the educational system to give India's kids a better chance. People are working on giving coffee farmers a living wage. The immigrant workers in Florida have organized and fought for a living wage. People all over the world are finding creative ways in their own neighborhood to make sure everyone has the basic necessities. I think the answer to changing poverty is really a question: What am I willing to do about it?

  • 1 decade ago

    I've read some interesting comments. But the truth is that you cannot wipe out poverty... only alleviate it.

    The SHORT ANSWER: Force governments and societies to allow for upward mobility and the creation of a better life, without placing restrictions, taxes, fees, rules and complicated regulations on those trying to make a better life for themselves.


    Being poor is not the issue really. It's the conditions that being poor bring. People need access to the basics, food, shelter, medicine, water.

    Everything else is extra.

    The United States has abject poverty and it's one of the richest nations in the world. Go to rural Appalachia... go to Mississippi, go to any number of locales (American Indian reservations) and you'll realize that poverty isn't a rich nation vs. poor nation problem. It's everyone's problem.

    Truthfully, I've lived a large portion of my life in the third world. It's the social environment that sets up poverty. For example, in Latin American countries, if you are born a poor indian in the rural areas, chances are no matter how much money you make, society will always consider you just an indian with money. The politics also hold down the working classes to provide for cheap labor and to help the rich get more affluent. You are not going to be able to change this with a few grants of 200 dollars. These businessmen will have to find a way to sell goods to people who don't have the resources to buy them.

    I'd focus more on finding a way to provide a living wage to those who want to work and contribute to society. Because the truth is that not everyone is cut out to run their own business. There are leaders and followers. Leaders get paid the most and followers rarely get paid much at all.

    Giving grants/loans will do little but waste money if the society in which a person operates is stacked against their success.

    Real poverty to me, means that you cannot meet your basic needs. Natives in the south pacific at the turn of the century didn't have a ton of gold or electronic gadgets or cars. But they lived in paradise because they had all the food they needed and a beautiful place to live. In short, their basic needs were met.

    Not everyone can own a 5 bedroom house with a 2 car garage. But I do think everyone can be fed and clothed. And while it may not be in the fanciest of fare and wardrobe. When you are truly hungry and overexposed to the elements, then you don't care if you are eating beans or wearing a shirt from the 60's.

    Entreprenuership is key. So is creating a sense of self motivation in people. But thinking that it's enough is simply wrong. I'm not saying that the rich and the affluent should "give" away what they have. But I do believe that the ruling classes should be very careful to create a system in which people can achieve a better life.

    Asking how to create a poverty free world is like asking how to eliminate racism, sexism, etc. Society has to change the way it thinks and operates before any positive outcome is going to be reached. Unfortunately, you can't regulate morals and values with laws.

    So long as people don't hire someone based on external factors, there will be poverty.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is another factor to poverty. Which is the revolving door in the business world (or finding a job/making money to pay off debt). A company with a good reputation keeps its good reputation by not taking risks. Many of the people trying to turn their lives around are set back because of criminal background. So they often go back into a life of crime. Yet how did these people get a criminal background? Is it by lack of morals or where they pushed to find some way to survive that had huge consequences?

    When someone makes a mistake, they are punished more than corrected. The system creates more violence by containing it and creating labels that demoralize the person more than help the person reform.

    On the other side of the spectrum, children who are at high risk of living a life of crime get taken in and shown a different path. Could the same be done for the majority of adults who could benefit from some assistance and compassion without creating dependency?

    Credit may be a start but what about financial stability in the working world? This is the next step and I feel we are close to finding an answer. The ultimate and easiest answer, though not ideal to most, is to remove money as being the main factor of survival and worth. But the way to go about that is not easy. If lives were based on intention, purpose, and following those then the need for money would be less of a factor. The rich wouldn't be rich and the poor wouldn't be poor as the community would distribute to each other (goods, product, services) just for the sake of compassion and balance.

  • 1 decade ago

    Let's look at from 2 perspectives:

    1) Ending Poverty in US - First of all, if you live in the US and you are in poverty and you don't have any physical or mental handicaps, then you are a complete moron with a pattern of catastrophic decision-making skills. You practically have to go out of your way to be poor in the US. To end the cycle, this is what you do: 1) don't have kids you can't afford to raise; 2) don't commit crimes; 3) WORK! - get a job, any job, and keep that job until you find a better one. Is that too much to ask? The IRS Census stats show that if you have a HS education, you have an 85% chance of not being in poverty. If you are married and have a HS diploma, your chances are virtually nil.

    Think about it. The poverty rate for a family of 4 is around $19K in a year. If the two adults just work two minimium wage jobs full-time, they will make nearly $22K in a year. This doesn't even factor in the welfare payment known as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Is that too much to ask? I won't even get into why someone who can't make more than the minimum wage is having a family of four.

    2) Ending World poverty - You and Bono can throw all the money you want to these third world countries, it won't change thier poverty. As long as you have despot and corrupt regimes, the money will only go to the leaders and not to the people. You need a free-market system. Most importantly, a gov't that recognizes private ownership rights. To feed these people in the short term, you can blame all the environmental nutcases that don't allow the use of DDT and other pesticides which resulted in the death of millions across the world due to disease. They also don't allow any genetically altered foods as well. Get this: Because the environmentalists want to gaze at birds and think the birds will be harmed by these sprays, millions have died by eating infected crops.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Only the wealthy can eliminate poverty. Bill Gates alone is hording "Fifty Thousand Million Dollars" and Warren Buffet over "Forty Thousand Million Dollars. That is just "Two" people. Have you seen the Fortune Five Hundred List of Multi-Billionaires?

    Considering that the population of the USA is just "Three Hundred Million" it would be perceivable that if any "One Billionaire" would give every American one million dollars each there would be no more poverty in this country and Gate's fortune wouldn't even have a scratch. Extend that out to all the poor countries in the world and poverty would be eradicated.

    Unfortunately these people with all the money would rather keep hording it. They have no "Real" conscience.

    They give little drabs of money here and there without any real consequence then pat themselves on the back. The fact is that if everyone had that much money the wealthy who own banks couldn't make some middle class family pay $360,000 out of pocket cash for a "Mortgage Loan of $110,000 thereby rendering the family trapped in a constant state of struggling to pay bills.

    The bottom line is "People Don't Really Care About People Living In Poverty" so your bank will accomplish very little if anything.

    If I were Bill Gates I would pay off every mortgage in the country for all the struggling people thereby giving them the extra cash they need to live a better life. But I guess the "Government of the Wealthy" would put a stop to that dead quick! The wealthy are parasites to humanity.

  • 1 decade ago

    By giving each person the opportunity to have some start up capital, very little is needed in most Asian countries, the person can have an opportunity to make money. Some people will make a lot, others will always be poor depending on their motivation, abilities and circumstance.

    What the Grameen Bank has done is extremely worthwhile in helping people to start, but no one yet knows what kind of education or help people need to help them ensure their financial success. We can only speculate on what are effective solutions for the masses

    Some are always poor in mind, some are always rich. We may not be able to change the world but by listening to what individuals say they need we can decide how or if we can help.

    One guaranteed outcome for all? - perhaps not.There is poverty in rich countries, and some immense wealth in poor countries. Can we really change the wealth distribution of the world? I think not. Better we help those who can and will use what we give. That will help point the way.

    When we do what's possible, the impossible seems a little closer

  • 4 years ago


  • 1 decade ago

    Living in a poverty free world would be great and beyond comprehension in a chaotic world, possible Yes. Probable maybe their are so many help organizations out there that do their best to help those in need. My opinion is start at home use America to set an ezample. with all the power hungry world leaders out there they need people to be on the bottom or else everyone would be the same their would be no riches that seem rich everyone would have close to the same. Focus on drug communities that are poverished by the drug leaders and the people that consume the drugs treat each other like ravenous wolves. The answer to your question has so many possabilities some that I hope will never happen like war, I think the ambition and backing one would have to have would be greater than the cause because the people would be that much better some are in the place they are at because they choose not to do anything ambitionless, in despair no hope. I find that God has a lot of answers and can go places others can't he can claer a path for any journey and make the means possible for any goal that is filled with heart. I hope you find your answer.

    Source(s): My opinion
  • 1 decade ago

    Creating a poverty-free world is a mind boggling and monumental task.

    It can only be done one step at time by starting just two nuclear projects in smaller neighboring countries, Nepal and Bhutan, and introducing a similar project in Sri Lanka later on.

    Successful projects should have a a multiplier effect for initiating new projects after completion of the first few.

    Larger countries like India and Pakistan also have massive poverty problems. The plight of the poor in all the countries of the subcontinent is almost unknown to the world.

    Right now, it may be too ambitious for the Grameen Bank to undertake technical assistance to all the neighboring countries but if India and Pakistan also seek Grameen Bank's expertise, it is worth exploring the possibility of financial assistance from UNDP, Asian Development Bank, World Bank.

    Active collaboration and participation of the ILO will be helpful because it is committed to alleviate poverty by meeting the basic needs of the poor along the lines of the Grameen Bank

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi all! Ending poverty is not a fiction or only a dream . It is something more easy to achieve than we think but still the job is great. We first most change ourselves and realize that there is one world and one family . We have to develop love and compassion toward our brothers and sisters around the world. We most get rid of our negativity and our fears. Then all the perfect qualities will arise automatically from within. Such as humility , patience , love , respect , compassion , fearlessness , wisdom , joy , generosity etc. When we reach this state of consciousness , we reach the heart of ourselves . We then start to realize that all is ONE from the SAME SOURCE . ((Call it life or GOD the way u want )). When we realize that we are all coming from the SAME SOURCE , we stop competition and we start working really as a whole, as a family ; TOGETHER . And this will be the end to suffering and poverty. This is a new era and it is coming very soon unless we destruct our self because of our lack of wisdom . In this new era , there will be enought and abundance for all .

    So what i say is : Change your self and the world will follow. If we all become more peace full and love full , do u think there will be more wars , poverty , suffering . The answer is NO !

    The masses have to be wiser so the governments and the big companies stop playing them. Because governments does not serve the people but rather the riches , and the big companies . Democratie as it is right now a bad joke.. i wont get too much in this topic but i can tell that we should make a system where everybody in a specific country will vote for each decision maked on a daily basis. Because voting only 1 time when there is election time is very not enough.

    Our governments puts thousands dollars into military .. These money could go to stop the poverty tomorrow , but it is used to kill and destroy . Why ? Because people who governs make money

    or have friends that make money when the cash of the citizens goes into war and weapons industries.

    Since 1900 , there are machines who gives f2ree e2nergy machines that give alot of energy for a ridicule input of energy. But this devise which could have set free humanity at many levels have been hided buy the power-fulls like peoples who owns petroleum industries.

    There are also many example of the pharmaceutics industries who stop new power full cures who could heal many kinds of diseases. This is because they would loose money if such cures went public.

    We should put laws so peoples who have more than 100 millions of dollars will have to share it with people .

    But first we gotta take control of our governments because right now it has been infiltrated by the power-full and se2cret so2cieties who have their own plan and don t care about what we want ..

    Their plan is a n2ew wo2rld or2der where we are all slaves watched by b2ig brot2her.




    Source(s): Yellow book #5 #6 #7 David icke (search videos on google) Conversations with God series etc.
  • 1 decade ago

    The thing is that we all talk about how we can all "do our part and make that world a better place by doing at least one good thing for someone else every day". But helping someone carry their books just won't change that fact that poverty exists, so I think that we should all get off of our butts and each do something that INVOLVES THE SENDING OF SUPPLIES TO POOR PEOPLE at least once a week.

    I also agree with many of the people who have already answered. If people who are impoverished have these customs that require tham to have as many babies as possible, then the world will get no farther in solving hunger. We should give tham birth limits.

    People who are rich should not be overtaxed. Thats great for them if tay are a millionare but that doesn't give them the responsibility to pay for poor people. They can invest half their money into sending food to rural areas if thay have good hearts, which is the whole problem here. No one has the willpower to do anything. If they have alot of money, then they can start a business and hire that there homeless person. If enough people do this, the problem is solved. Taxing does nothing except take money from people to help the government, and that's all it was ever for.

    Source(s): My own brain as well as the fact that I am American and I'm tired of hearing poor people in Bangladesh or India complain to us about it.
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