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  • Sharon Williams

The importance of equal access to basic necessities for all

Ensuring access to the basic necessities of life, such as housing, medicine, food, and water, is essential to providing a safe and healthy life for all people living on our beautiful planet. United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that around one in four children worldwide live in areas affected by conflict or disaster, leading to issues with access to basic necessities such as housing, medicine, food, and water. 



African child in school class room
Access to the necessities of life is not just a luxury but a fundamental right for every individual.


These necessities are essential for everyone's well-being, yet millions of people around the world are struggling to gain access to them. In this article, we will explore how we can work to provide these necessities and ensure access to them for everyone. We will also look at some of the common issues that prevent individuals and communities from accessing these essentials.


Basic necessities are a fundamental human right 


Access to the necessities of life is not just a luxury but a fundamental right for every individual. It is our responsibility as a whole to ensure that everyone has access to housing, medicine, food, and water. These essentials are not just basic needs, but they are also vital for the overall well-being and development of individuals and communities around the world.


When individuals are denied access to these necessities, it has far-reaching and often dire consequences. It perpetuates a cycle of poverty, inequality, and marginalisation from which there is seldom an escape. It affects not only the physical health of individuals but also their mental and emotional well-being. Lack of access to housing can lead to homelessness and insecurity. Even in first-world countries homelessness is on the rise, exacerbated by the recent Covid lockdowns, which caused many to lose their jobs and homes. Inadequate healthcare access, for example, can result in preventable illnesses and loss of lives. Furthermore, food deserts contribute to malnutrition and a higher prevalence of diet-related diseases. And limited access to clean water jeopardises the health and sanitation of communities.


Ensuring access to these necessities is about creating a society where everybody co-exists, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background. It is about recognising the inherent worth and dignity of every individual and providing them with the means to lead a safe and healthy life. By prioritising access to necessities, we are building a more equitable and just society where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive. It is not just the responsibility of governments or organisations; it is the responsibility of each one of us to work towards this goal. How? Start by volunteering at a local soup kitchen, donate to charitable organizations or donate some of your free time to garner support from your community to help the less fortunate. There is so much we can do to make the world a better place!



Child in a slum area
It is our responsibility as a whole to ensure that everyone has access to housing, medicine, food, and water.


The State of Housing and Solutions for Affordability


Affordable housing is a critical issue facing millions of people around the world. In many areas, as housing costs are rising, it is nearly impossible for individuals and families to find stable and affordable homes. This lack of affordable housing leads to overcrowding, homelessness, and a host of other problems. Some solutions can be implemented to address this issue. Some potential solutions include: 

  • implementing rent control policies, 

  • increasing funding for affordable housing initiatives, and 

  • promoting the construction of low-income housing units. 


We can create a society where everyone has a safe and secure place to call home by prioritising affordable housing. 


Healthcare Accessibility Issues and Proposed Solutions


Homelessness is one of the most significant predictors of mental health issues. Access to healthcare is a fundamental necessity. Many individuals face significant barriers to obtaining the care they need. Healthcare accessibility issues include limited availability of healthcare facilities, high costs of medical treatments and medications, and lack of health insurance coverage. 


These challenges affect marginalised communities and individuals with lower incomes. Proposed solutions to improve healthcare accessibility include expanding healthcare coverage and implementing universal healthcare systems. A stronger healthcare system can be built by increasing funding for community health centres and addressing the shortage of healthcare professionals in underserved areas. We can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive the medical care they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives by prioritising access to healthcare. 



Young black doctor speaking with a patient
Access to healthcare is a fundamental necessity.


Food Deserts and Steps to Improve Access to Nutritious Options


Food deserts are areas where there is limited access to affordable and nutritious food options. These areas are often found in low-income neighborhoods. This makes it difficult for residents to obtain fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Lack of access to nutritious options leads to higher diet-related diseases like obesity and diabetes, as well as poor health outcomes. 


To improve access, community initiatives can be implemented, such as farmers' markets, mobile food trucks, and community gardens. The issue of food deserts can be addressed by opening grocery stores and supermarkets in these areas. By taking these steps, we can ensure that everyone has access to the nutritious food they need for a healthy life.


Clean Water and Challenges in Ensuring Access


Clean water is a basic resource, and access to clean water is a necessity for every person. However, many individuals and communities face significant challenges in obtaining clean water. Limited access to clean water leads to the spread of waterborne diseases, poor sanitation conditions, and health risks. Challenges to clean water access include inadequate infrastructure, water scarcity in certain regions, and pollution of water sources. 


It is crucial to invest in infrastructure development, implement effective water management practices, and raise awareness about the importance of clean water to address these challenges. By prioritising access to clean water, we can improve the health and well-being of communities worldwide.



Black woman drinking water
Clean water is a basic resource, and access to clean water is a necessity for every person.


Final thoughts 

To build a society where everyone can thrive, it is crucial that we prioritise access to the necessities of life. Ensuring that individuals and communities have access to housing, medicine, food, and water is not just a luxury but a fundamental right. These essentials are the foundation for a safe and healthy life for all people.


Access to these necessities is about creating a society where everyone can coexist, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. It is about recognising the worth and dignity of every individual and providing them with the means to lead a safe and fulfilling life.


To ensure access to safe and sustainable housing, we must continue to invest in affordable housing initiatives and promote policies that protect renters and low-income families. We also need to prioritize funding for community health centres, expand healthcare coverage, and work towards universal healthcare systems. 


Addressing food deserts requires the establishment of farmers' markets, mobile food trucks, and community gardens while ensuring that grocery stores and supermarkets are accessible in low-income areas. Finally, improving access to clean water necessitates investment in infrastructure, water management practices, and raising awareness about the importance of clean water. It requires collaboration between governments, organizations, and individuals, with a shared commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind.


By prioritising access to necessities, we are not only addressing immediate needs but also breaking the cycle of poverty, inequality, and marginalisation. Together, we can create a more equitable and just society where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and lead a life filled with dignity and well-being. Let's work towards ensuring access to these necessities for everyone and build a brighter future for all.

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