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             The Young girl thought to herself as she sat under the Cypress tree in the blazing sun watching the heat waves shimmer above the blinding brightness of the hot sand, "I wish I had food in my stomach. My back aches and my body feels weak and enervated. In the last week, I have eaten only rice and beans. Sometimes I only eat two or three times a week. Having to sleep in one room with the rest of my family on the hard, uncomfortable floor and listen to my brother cough all night, I am sleep deprived. I never know what the next day may bring. I just hope to survive."" Sadly, this is a typical life for someone living in poverty. Half of the world population lives on less than two dollars a day (Hogan). Poverty, a growing problem throughout the world, is a severe situation in which people endure critical shortages, such as the basic necessities to survive. A blind woman from Maldova describes life as a poor individual: "For a poor person everything is terrible, illness, humiliation, shame. We are cripples; we are afraid of everything; we depend on everyone. No one needs us- (qtd. in "Dying- 9). People in poverty have lived voiceless and silent, but are finally beginning to get their voices heard. In the past, no one has ever listened to them and what they have to say, but now people and countries are finally beginning to listen to their word. Recently, the United Nations has come up with three key priorities they wish to improve in the next century: preventing conflict, eradicating poverty and promoting democracy ("UN-). These all exist as critically important issues around the world, but which should hold the leading role? The primary focus of the United Nations in the 21st century should be reducing poverty throughout the world because it will help advance people's health and the economy.
             Eliminating poverty will improve the health of thousands of people. It will provide them with better health care, which in turn will increase the average age and decrease the number of people dying from illness and disease.

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