News from the future! World hits zero poverty!
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The last person in the world to live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day officially escaped poverty today.
Vinita Kumari was chosen by the United Nations to be one of several people around the world who symbolically represent the global development milestone. Kumari drew her first monthly paycheck just after noon on Saturday amid an explosion of press camera flashes at the Bank of Maharashtra.
“This feels incredible,” she said, grasping the paycheck in her hand. “I can’t believe I finally have a job that pays well. It’s about time.” Kumari was hired earlier this month as a production associate at an organic dairy farm in Dhule, formerly amongst the poorest districts in India.
She was met by officials from the UN, which named 20 January Zero Poverty Day to celebrate global efforts that resulted in the end of extreme poverty. The accuracy of the date has been questioned, with some experts arguing that the milestone was already reached last year.
From 2015 to 2030, over 736 million people escaped extreme poverty, meeting the target set by the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. “This is undoubtedly among the greatest achievements of our generation,” said UN Secretary-General Shivani Patel.
“The pace of poverty reduction slowed around 2018,” she added, “But the wealthiest people in the world decided to invest their money to benefit the poorest people in the world. That was a game-changer.”
“I invested billions of dollars in EWB’s social enterprises,” remarked Cash Monay, referring to the award-winning impact investing fund set up by EWB Canada in 2019. “I didn’t get all my money back, but heck, I helped end global poverty! How dope is that?”
Monay was formerly the world’s richest individual and won the 2029 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end global poverty and inequality.
“The pivotal year was 2019,” recalls Aiman Hashmi, the Canadian Minister of Finance. “It was the first time that the fortunes of Canadian billionaires remained stable due to their social investments, instead of increasing by $28 billion per year as they had previously.”
That same year, Canada instituted universal child care and lifted 4.9 million Canadians out of relative poverty.
Today, around the world all segments of society are seeing their fortunes increase again, and increasing numbers are joining the ranks of millionaires. About 97% of the world’s population has net assets over $1 million dollars, according to the World Bank.
Back in India, UN officials presented Kumari with a bouquet of flowers and a certificate signed by UN Secretary-General. Kumari says she intends to invest some of her income in an impact investing fund that seeks to improve quality of life for the growing population of centenarians.