13 February 2023 | Monday | News
Image Source : Public Domain
In 2020, global poverty increased for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of their entrapment in the poverty cycle, vulnerable groups face many issues, particularly in healthcare and agriculture. According to UN research, although pre-pandemic rates of global poverty had decreased by more than 50% since the millennium began, COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation, causing the number of people living in poverty to reach half a billion.
Approximately 80% of the world's poor live in rural areas and rely on agricultural work for self-sufficiency and income generation; 95% of the rural poor are found in East Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Because of the need to maximize their time working, people living in poverty are unable to engage in common healthy living practices (in usually low-paying jobs). In many cases, they are unaware of healthy living habits or ways to prevent infectious diseases, putting them at a higher risk of becoming ill.
"An efficient healthcare system that informs and encourages people to stay healthy and prevent illness, and detects health conditions at an early stage, can break the poverty cycle and address healthcare concerns," noted Niihara Tetsuya, GC Director at Frost & Sullivan. "Capacity-building efforts at the individual and community levels empower the poor with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to effectively break free from the poverty trap, better their circumstances, and change their behavior for tangible differences in their quality of life. They effectively address systemic issues surrounding poverty at their root."
NEC hopes to use its digital technologies to empower individuals and communities to reach their full potential. It seeks to effect tangible change on a personal level, improving an individual's quality of life. Through a more nuanced understanding of nutrition, health, well-being, education, and the importance of lifelong learning, people can make more informed decisions about habitual behavioral changes that reap long-term benefits. NEC actively collaborates with international organizations to develop solutions that prioritize individuals and communities' needs, allowing them to become self-sufficient and independent of outside aid. It also assists farmers in strengthening their bargaining position with external groups, ensuring equity and fairness for all members of the community. NEC's blockchain technology also: