A term used by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other United Nations agencies for the basic goods and services (food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, etc.) necessary for a minimum standard of living.
These basic needs are also incorporated in the WHO concept of prerequisites for health, which are those necessities without which medical care and other investments for improving health, such as health promotion, can have little lasting effect.
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty in developing countries.
It attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being
, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line
is then defined as the amount of income required to satisfy those needs.
The 'basic needs' approach was introduced by the International Labour Organization's World Employment Conference in 1976 - it was proposed that the satisfaction of basic human needs as the overriding objective of national and international development policy.
The basic needs approach to development was endorsed by governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations from all over the world.
A traditional list of immediate "basic needs" is food (including water), shelter and clothing. Many modern lists emphasize the minimum level of consumption of 'basic needs' of not just food, water, clothing and shelter, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on January 18, 2016.