A series of documentaries being screened on television stations across the world this month look to answer one simple question: why poverty?
A collective approach is the best approach. When it comes to tackling the plethora of issues relating to poverty, no one person can eradicate it on their own. It takes an army to address each of the complex causes of poverty, and though various campaigns have had varying degrees of success, there is no silver bullet which can change everything in one fell swoop.
Of utmost importance is maintaining dialogue on the international level in order to keep things moving. This month, a team of activists aims to do just that, coordinating broadcasts of key documentaries which look at poverty from all angles. The initiative, called “Why Poverty?”, has partnered with key broadcasters across the globe who will screen all eight films throughout December to their local audience.
Why poverty? is being run by Danish-based organisation Steps who ran a similar initiative in 2007 called Why Democracy?. There is no ulterior motive here, no one is being asked to donate money. The entire purpose of this exercise is to stimulate international dialogue about the things that cause and maintain global poverty. It questions why there is such disparity between rich and poor and why some regions are continually defined by poverty with the hope of prompting people and governments to act on key issues such as food security, education, gender rights and healthcare.
According to figures published by the World Bank, poverty has been in decline since 1990, however with just over 22 percent of the global population living on little more than 1 USD per day, the mission to banish poverty is far from complete.
The films ask some very pertinent questions, such as what the benefit of western intervention has been in reducing the debt of African nations and what the impact of soaring food prices will be on the impoverished. More than 70 broadcasters around the world have partnered with the initiative and will broadcast the documentaries throughout the month, including BBC in the UK, Al Rasheed TV in Iraq, Futura in Brazil and GBP in Georgia. Unfortunately, no Indian broadcasters are taking part however as of January 2013, all documentaries will be hosted on the dedicated website in full length, meaning anyone interested in watching will be able to legally do so online as of next month.
Take a peek below at the trailer for the film “Give us the money” which looks at campaigns such as 1985’s Live Aid and what role international aid has played in reducing poverty and check Why Poverty?’s website for clips of all the films.