FREDERICTON (GNB) – The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be celebrated in New Brunswick and around the world on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the theme Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting empowerment and building peace.

As part of this event initiated by the United Nations, the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation and its 12 community inclusion networks throughout the province are asking New Brunswickers to take a few moments to consider the fact that poverty takes many forms in our province. Beyond financial poverty, which is unfortunately still present in our province, there are other forms of poverty that are insidious and devastating, such as homelessness, suffering from hunger, not having access to a doctor, not being able to go to school, being out of work or not being ambulatory.

According to the United Nations, extreme poverty perpetuates the cycle of violence and discrimination that often marginalizes the fundamental rights of women and children living in poverty. It destroys lives and spirits; it kills more children, adolescents and adults than any war. Each day, people living in extreme poverty are faced with a lack of food, housing, and access to essential services. They endure dangerous working conditions and precarious, degraded, and hazardous living conditions.

“Our government is committed to reducing poverty in New Brunswick,” said Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé. “As work continues to rebuild the province, the goal is to reduce poverty so that all New Brunswickers have the opportunity to take part in strengthening our quality of life and communities. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I encourage everyone to continue working together to help lift New Brunswickers out of poverty.”

New Brunswick's poverty reduction plan is an innovative means to bring together government, business, community and individuals to be a part of a social project aimed at meeting the basic needs of New Brunswickers so they can live in dignity, safety, and good health. Moreover, all New Brunswickers, should have the same opportunities in terms of employment, personal development, and community involvement.

"New Brunswick's poverty reduction plan is unique," said corporation president Léo-Paul Pinet. "The expectations are high for this initiative, and every effort is being made to achieve the objectives set. To do so, it takes commitment, perseverance, will, and solidarity. It is incumbent upon all New Brunswickers to get involved in the fight against poverty and the quest for economic and social inclusion."

Since launching the plan, 12 community inclusion networks have developed regional action plans for poverty reduction. To date, 84 viable initiatives have been implemented to meet the specific needs of communities. A total of $2,605,637 has been allocated to these initiatives.

The corporation's board of directors has 22 members representing government, business, non-profit community organizations, and people who have experienced poverty. It co-ordinates and implements the Overcoming Poverty Together: The Economic and Social Inclusion Plan.