It is important to understand the effects of poverty on people since as many as 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty. Poverty is characterised by lack of basic human needs, which range from drinking water and shelter to basic healthcare and education. The common causes of poverty in Pakistan over are overpopulation, unequal distribution of resources, unemployment, etc. And some of its obvious effects include health problems, homelessness, etc. Many people in our country go to sleep without taking food almost every day. Poverty also affects health. Some prominent diseases which are more likely to affect people below the poverty line include AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, measles, pneumonia etc, which are attributed to lack of basic healthcare facilities. The diseases which can result in poverty include a range of mental illnesses which tend to hinder the ability of a person to work. While children living in absolute poverty cannot afford basic education, those in relative poverty are forced to drop out half way into their elementary or middle schooling, inability to pay fees and family responsibilities being two of the reasons. It also works the other way round: lack of education is an important cause of poverty in Pakistan, thus creating a most serious social issue we face today. Urgent steps to remove poverty are called to resolve many other issues automatically. HAJRA ANWAR, Lahore, September 30.