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The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich Pope John Paul II Toronto Canada 1984 Poverty is an immense problem that is found all over the globe It comes in many forms and in areas in numerous countries Poverty in a dictionary means the state of being poor lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts Even though this is true in most countries in some other countries they dont need what we want Poverty is not always lacking in materials but in happiness According to the United Nations material poverty remains a serious problem In countries of the South one person in three in total about 13 billion people lives in poverty and more than 125 million children die each year from easily preventable diseases Primary health care basic education safe drinking water and adequate nutrition are available to fewer than one billion human beings The average income of the wealthiest 20 per cent in our world is 150 times greater than that of the poorest fifthCanadians are faced with a deteriorating situation At a time when the international community invites action toward the eradication of poverty governments are pursuing three objectives to cut social spending to reduce deficits and to pay back our debts But who raises their voice on behalf of the 48 million people one of every six Canadians in 1994 living in poverty Do Canadians realize the human cost of sustaining an overall national poverty rate of 166 per cent There is no doubt poverty must remain the top priority on the social policy agenda and not only after the debt or other social ills have been addressed The existence of poverty in Canada seems contradictory to the fact that the country appears at the top of the United Nations Human Development Index What is important to consider is that poverty strikes some Canadians harder than others - families headed by single-parent
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