Response Updates

20 Poverty Quotes to Inspire Change

Reported by Convoy of Hope

Looking for inspiration or insight into how you can help alleviate poverty? Look no further than these powerful quotes from some of the world’s most influential minds.

From thought-provoking commentary on the causes and effects of poverty to messages of hope and inspiration for those struggling with this all-too-common issue, these poverty quotes are sure to inspire and enlighten.

Here are 20 quotes about poverty that will make you think, feel, and take action.

Quotes About Poverty

  1. “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” —Aristotle
  2. “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” —Nelson Mandela
    “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” —Mahatma Gandhi
  3. “The greatest disease in the West today is not tuberculosis or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.” Mother Teresa
  4. “Poverty isn’t a lack of character. It’s a lack of cash.” —Rutger Bregman
  5. “We are the first generation that can end poverty.” —Ban Ki-moon
  6. “Poverty is the thief of dreams.” —Unknown
  7. “Poverty is not just a lack of money, it is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.” —Amartya Sen
  8. “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” —Nelson Mandela
  9. “A man who has gone even a week on bread and margarine is not a man any longer, only a belly with a few accessory organs.” —George Orwell
  10. “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
  11. “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” —Pope John Paul II
  12. Hunger makes a thief of any man.” —Pearl S. Buck
  13. “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” —Toni Morrison
  14. “Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.” —Muhammad Ali
  15. “The African concept ubuntu [is] the essence of being human — that a person is a person only through other persons, that my humanity is caught up in yours. I am fully me only if you are all you can be.” —Desmond Tutu
  16. “No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people.” —Marian Anderson
  17. “Our worst foes are ignorance, poverty, and the unconscious cruelty of our commercial society.” —Helen Keller
  18. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” —Anne Frank
  19. “It is true that global wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities have also grown, and new poverty arisen.” —Pope Francis

These quotes serve as a reminder that poverty is a complex issue that affects millions of people around the world. In fact, the World Bank estimates that as many as 685 million people were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2022.

The threshold for “extreme poverty” in that study was a person living on less than $2.15 a day “at 2017 purchasing power parity.”

A recent and very disturbing reality is that while the global extreme poverty rate had been declining for years, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic reversed that trend. 

  • • The global extreme poverty rate reached 9.3% in 2020, up from 8.4% in 2019. 
  • • The pandemic drove more than 70 million additional people into extreme poverty.

Help Solve The Greatest Hunger Crisis in 50 Years

Over the next few years, Convoy of Hope will increase our activities across more than a dozen African countries to help those in need become the architects of their own solutions.

Young children playing!

How to Help Those in Poverty

To bring about lasting positive change, it is important that compassion-driven people and organizations work together to address the economic and social factors that contribute to poverty and inequality.

One relief organization that works to do just that is Convoy of Hope. Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that works to combat poverty and hunger around the world. Convoy and its partners provide food, water, education, and other resources to those in need, and their efforts have had a positive impact on countless communities.

Convoy of Hope’s initiatives include the following

1. Disaster Response

Whether a disaster has a natural origin (a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, for example) or is a result of human-made events (the war in Ukraine), Convoy of Hope looks for opportunities to bring food, water, clothing, and other resources to people in need.

Some Convoy responses are short-term, such as a weeklong distribution in a community recovering from a tornado. Others can stretch for months, such as the months of response following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

2. Community Outreach

Even before Convoy became known for disaster response, it was organizing community outreaches in areas of deep economic need.

At a Community Event, honored guests receive groceries, children’s shoes, free haircuts, school supplies, hygiene kits, and other resources.

Job counseling, medical screenings, and other services are on-site at many events.

Hygiene Kit

3. A Growing, Global Children’s Feeding Program

Convoy of Hope feeds more than 571,000 children nutritious meals every school day in program centers around the world. Many of these centers are at local schools. By feeding children in schools, Convoy is providing them with the vital nutrition they need to thrive in their education and in life.

Every Convoy of Hope initiative is designed to address the root causes of poverty and create sustainable solutions. Beyond its short-term interventions, Convoy is committed to empowering individuals and communities through education, job training, and other resources that bring lasting change.

Hunger, poverty, and natural disasters create many challenges for impoverished people in the world today. However, as the above quotes illustrate, partners in compassion and kindness can act on the power of hope and inspiration and work together to create a better future.

By supporting organizations like Convoy of Hope and taking action to address poverty and inequality, we can all play a role in building a more just and equitable world.


Where was hope in 2023? For Convoy of Hope, last year was full of heartfelt stories, transformed lives, and major milestones. Here's a quick recap:

In 2023 ...
🍽️ 571,000+ children engaged in strategic feeding program
👩‍🌾 30,000+ farmers trained
🌷 48,000+ women and girls…