Alia Essak

October 17, 2014

Delving Into The Past: Conventional Approaches To Poverty

As we think of poverty alleviation programs and social policies, we generally tend to think of those that emerged in the Bretton Woods institutions, or the developed world. However, the fight against poverty can be traced back centuries. As a research intern at the UNICEF headquarters, I spent most of my time conducting research on ancient approaches to poverty; specifically religious approaches. The purpose of the research was to better understand the earlier manifestations of social policy and the concept of poverty alleviation. In addition, it analyzed a broader, historical, and more diverse view on poverty. Focusing on Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam enabled me to analyze religious connections leading to a higher level of global consciousness, allowing for a well-rounded approach to tackle poverty.