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.
Defining basic needs is one of the key 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 of 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 is the overriding objective of national and international development policy.
This approach to development was endorsed by governments as well as 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 that the minimum level of consumption of basic needs also includes sanitation, education, and health care.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Internet. Accessed on January 18, 2016.