4 Shifts Campaign

Weekly Action - 16 October 2023 - Eradicating Poverty


Eradicating poverty

This Tuesday 17 October is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the day when the world redoubles its efforts to end the scourge of extreme poverty.  Over the long-term there has been significant progress in reducing poverty.  More than 90% of the population of the world lived in extreme poverty in 1820.  Today less than 10% of the population of the world lives in extreme poverty, a massive positive change.  However, we still have a long way to go.  Today 6% of the population of the world still don’t have safe clean water, 10% lack sufficient food, 14% lack safe sanitation, 24% live in slums, 55% have not completed secondary education, and 58% don’t have a healthcare system to support them.

These are more than just numbers, they represent millions of real people facing hard lives and impossible choices.  People like Adhel, a friend of Arise from South Sudan.  Conflict in the nation forced her to relocate from her home village to a different region with her children.  With no farm, no crops, no job and no income, in a nation which is already desperately poor, Adhel was forced to make brutal and impossible decisions.  At one stage the food she had was so limited she had to make decisions about which of her children to feed, as she couldn’t save them all.


4 Shifts to end extreme poverty

As Christians we know that such heart-breaking extreme poverty is never what God wants to see.  As the Bible says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God” (Prov 14: 31).  But what actions can the world most effectively take to end extreme poverty?  Arise’s 4 Shifts Report and Campaign looks at what the Bible tells us, and all the lessons from history indicate, works best to reduce and end extreme poverty.  It finds that two key shifts are essential.  1) Nations need to develop strong and fair national economies to create jobs and wealth.  2) They can then tax these to provide social spending and basic services like healthcare, education and social protection (pensions, unemployment benefits, incapacity support etc.) to ensure all benefit, not just the richest in society.  All nations that have developed successfully have followed this route, and the international community should do all it can to support other nations to take the same approach.  Indeed the theme of this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, ‘Decent work and social protection: Putting Dignity in practice for all’, focuses on precisely these two shifts.

This week, will you take action as part of Arise’s 4 Shifts Campaign, and urge the UK government to step up its efforts to help low-income nations develop the good jobs and universal access to basic services that can massively reduce extreme poverty?


Take Action

Speak out in advocacy

Contact the UK’s overseas Development Minister Andrew Mitchell via social media.  Ask him to immediately scale up UK overseas aid back to 0.7% of Gross National Income and focus this on:

1.     Supporting developing nations to lift themselves permanently out of poverty by developing a proactive national industrial and economic development strategy to create a diverse national economy that progressively moves up the value chain from agriculture to manufacturing to services to the knowledge economy.

2.     Supporting developing nations to develop effective tax systems to collect tax at an amount equivalent to at least 45% of the national economy (one third from income taxes, one third from wealth taxes and one third from other taxes), and to spend at least two thirds of this on healthcare, education and social protection (pensions, benefits etc.).

Contact him on Twitter at: @AndrewmitchMP, on Instagram at: andrewmitchellmp and on Facebook at: Andrew Mitchell MP, or search for him on your favourite social media platform.


Pray for all those around the world like Adhel living in extreme poverty and having to make impossible decisions every day.  Pray that their nations will make decisions to develop strong and fair national economies to create jobs and wealth, and tax those effectively to provide social spending and basic services like healthcare and education in order to lift all their populations out of extreme poverty.  Pray that the UK and the whole international community can provide generous support to developing nations to help them do this.


Give to Christian organisations like Christian Aid, Cafod, Tearfund or World Vision who do crucial work supporting families in the most marginalised communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America, helping to lift them out of poverty.

Practical Action

Help address poverty on our own doorsteps by not just walking past homeless people, but giving them contact details for local authorities that can help get them off the street, food vouchers for high-street food outlets, and tracts.  (Do some research then carry these around with you.)

Ethical Consumption

Help developing nations lift themselves out of poverty by buying products and services from countries in the developing world, thus boosting their economies.


Encourage us and others by letting us know what actions you have taken – message us at info@ariseuk.org, or via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.


Find out more

It’s great to take this action as individual Christians, but even better to come together with others to pray, discuss, worship, learn, have fun and take action together.  Contact Arise if you are interested in joining or starting a local Arise group in your church or area.  If you are already in an Arise group, take this action to your wider church, and get them all to do it too.

Find out more about why the world needs 4 Shifts to transition to a green and fair global economy in Arise’s 4 Shifts Report, and how this forms part of God’s bigger vision for our world in the Arise Manifesto.

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