Anti-Poverty Week 2020

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11 October, 2020

Anti-Poverty Week is a National event, happening from the 11th to the 17th of October 2020.

During the week surrounding the UN’s International Anti-Poverty Day on 17 October, individuals, communities, organisations and governments are encouraged to act to address poverty, through research, discussion and a multitude of other activities. 

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/

During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to support those in the Australian community who are struggling the most. The health and economic impact of COVID-19 is hitting marginalised people and communities the hardest. We know that for many people being sick can make your poor and being poor often makes you sick.

Unemployment has doubled as a result of the COVID-19 induced shut-down, affecting many people who may never have needed support as well as those who were already out of work or didn’t have enough work before the bushfires and pandemic hit. In August 2020 there were at least 12 people receiving DSS unemployment payments for every job advertised on the internet.


Poverty in Australia

In Australia, the poverty line is generally defined as 50% of median household income.

This was $457 a week for a single adult, $731 for a sole parent with two children or $960 for a couple with two children in 2017-18.

The ACOSS/UNSW Poverty in Australia 2020 report found:

• In Australia, there are more than 3.24 million people or 13.6% of the population living below the poverty line. That includes 774,000 children or more than 1 in 6.

• Many of those affected are living in deep poverty – on average $282 a week below the poverty line.

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Poverty-in-Australia-APW-2020.pdf


Child Poverty

Growing up in poverty impacts the hopes and dreams of young people.

How many children are living in poverty in Australia?

774,000 children or 1 in 6 Australian children aged 0-14 years lived in poverty in 2017-18 (the latest available data). At 17.7%, the percentage of children living in poverty is higher than the percentage of any other age group – including those aged 65 years and over.3

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Child-Poverty-Revised-APW-2020.pdf


Poverty & Housing

Poverty puts pressure on people – it’s constant and strong. If the pressure builds up, people can be pushed into homelessness. We can relieve the pressure on people’s lives by creating affordable housing and helping people get decent jobs. We can also help people withstand this pressure by strengthening our social welfare system and ensuring all payments stay above the poverty line. We can end homelessness and increase housing affordability. Investing in social housing is both the right and smart thing to do.

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/APW-Poverty-and-Housing-Fast-Fact-September-2020.pdf


Poverty & Work

While ‘paid employment can be a route out of a state of disadvantage, it does not guarantee an absence of recurrent disadvantage as some jobs, particularly low-skilled jobs, are low-paid and hours of available work not assured.’ 

968,000 people or 38% of the 2.6 million people living in poverty (excluding self-employed people) came from households where wages were the main source of income.

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Poverty-Work-APW-2019.pdf


Poverty in Rural & Regional Australia

More than 4 in 5 people agreed that nobody deserves to live in poverty and that Australia should be a country that looks after those in need. People in rural and regional Australia have even stronger empathy than those in metropolitan locations. Nearly two thirds of people in rural areas said that there are no differences between them and those experiencing poverty, compared with just over a half of people living in metropolitan areas. 

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Poverty-in-Rural-Regional-Aus-APW-2019.pdf


Poverty & Disability

Just under 2 of the 5 Australians living in poverty have a disability (739,200 or 38% of the nearly 2 million adults Australians who are living in poverty).

1 in 6 people with disability were living in poverty, compared with just over 1 in 10 Australians without disability.

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Poverty-Disability-APW-2019.pdf


Global Poverty

The World Bank states that ‘Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.

Lack of income is not the full story – living in poverty can mean limited access to safe water, good schools, health care, stable and clean housing, and electricity. Where 1 in 10 people live in extreme poverty, it is estimated that 1.3 billion people live in multi-dimensional poverty. For example, the number of people living in households without access to electricity is far greater than those living in monetary poverty. Hence, poverty is not solely linked to finances - it also can include sanitation, housing, and proper education.

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Global-Poverty1-APW-2020.pdf

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Food Insecurity & World Food Day

Foodbank just released its 2020 food insecurity report

This report is unlike any previous Foodbank Hunger Report as it presents a picture of food insecurity in the midst of a once-in-100-year crisis.

COVID-19 is having a profound effect on every aspect of people’s lives, so it is not surprising that it is impacting the food security of Australians. This report looks at how COVID-19, and the responses of governments, businesses and individuals to the pandemic, are affecting the ability of people to have food for themselves and their families.

https://www.foodbank.org.au/foodinsecurity

World Food Day

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in up to 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.

This year, World Food Day 2020 marks FAO’s 75th anniversary during a very exceptional time as many countries are dealing with the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. World Food Day should as a result be considered as an opportunity to call for global cooperation and solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable and build back better. It is also an occasion to sensitize the public on how everybody has a role to play in transforming our food systems by changing the way we produce, transform, consume and waste our food.

http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/home/en

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Moneycare Day

This year, during ‘Anti-Poverty Week’ (October 11-17), The Salvation Army’s Moneycare is running events across the nation to help everyday Aussies get on top of their finances.

As part of Anti-Poverty Week, Wednesday October 14 is The Salvos National ‘Moneycare Day’.

Moneycare is The Salvos free and confidential financial counselling service, offering in-person or phone assistance to anyone in South Australia.

Sharon Maslen, Program Manager Financial Counselling Services South Australia, is encouraging anyone looking to improve their financial situation to reach out to their local Moneycare for support, utilise the free online resources, or participate in the free webinars running every day during Anti-Poverty Week (12-16 October).

The theme of this year’s event will be ‘Disasters don’t Discriminate’, with The Salvos seeing the devastating financial impacts of the year that has been, from bushfires to the economic turmoil of COVID-19.

“We have seen in the past 12 months the wide-ranging impacts that these disasters have had. They haven’t only impacted the most vulnerable in society but have reached people who never thought that they would ever find themselves in financial hardship. The Salvation Army is encouraging anyone who needs a hand with their finances to get help early, and reach out to a Moneycare financial counsellor,” Sharon Maslen said.

To access the online resources or to register for the free financial coaching webinars taking place at 12.00 noon (AET) each day and 2pm on the Tuesday and Thursday of Anti-Poverty week (12-16 October), visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/get-involved/anti-poverty-week/

​The free, 20-minute webinars will help you to master your money essentials, covering topics such as buying your dream car, how to track your money, insurance, navigating loans and getting your finances back on track.

In an average year, The Salvos Moneycare offers financial services to over 13,000 people, helping with financial coaching, counselling, debt help and providing no-interest loans*.

Sharon Maslen said, “This year, particularly as government subsidies begin to scale back, The Salvation Army is anticipating a soaring demand to present to our services, including Moneycare. This is why early intervention is so important, to avoid this avalanche of need to come.”

Of particular concern is the impact of payday loans and rent deferrals, which have been increasingly used during the pandemic, and have potential for severe consequences in the long term.

“People often turn to payday lenders when they are in a time of financial crisis, which has been the case for so many this year through COVID-19. Moneycare financial counsellors can be powerful advocates on your behalf if you are in debt. If anyone has been stung by payday loans, or is considering obtaining one, reach out to Moneycare. We are here to help,” Sharon Maslen added.

For more information or to contact The Salvation Army’s free and confidential Moneycare service, please visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/get-involved/anti-poverty-week/ or call the Moneycare Intake Service Line: 1800 722 363

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