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The Effects of Poverty on Life in Third World Countries; than those in the First World


Third World countries (which are now referred today as developing countries) are when we think of a country in poverty. The developing “Third World” Countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and others, are over half to about two-thirds of the world's population. Countries that do not fall into this category were more known as “First World”, and referred today as developed countries; which have food, water, housing, education, medical (Health Care), jobs, sanitation, stable democratic governments, and mostly importantly resulting in having money. So what best describes and classifies a country as a developing country in poverty? Developing countries have barely any money; which makes them extremely poor, which than results in poor education with very limited sanitation, and very poor housing for their people. This has a large effect on these countries providing and obtaining consumable water and food, adequate housing, proper education and health care, and jobs.

In First World countries the chance of getting a good education is excellent whereas the lack of money in third world countries means the chance of education is almost impossible. Third World people are not educated on the important things they need to know like birth control, farming and building and basic literacy. A well rounded education would really increase current and future generation's health. Third world countries do not have access to consumable food, as people do in first world countries. This is due to their ability to grow proper consumable food, since they do not have the education to farm, and/or the framing equipment needed. The bad weather conditions like droughts and severe floods also stop farmers from being able to harvest good crops. This affects the nutrition of the people in these countries. The correct amounts of vitamins, mineral etc. are simply not available to them. Water is beneficial to survive and this is often very scarce in third world countries. Where water is found it is often dirty and thriving with disease and infection which kills huge amounts of people.

In First World countries people are lucky to have basic sanitation facilities and live in clean, free from disease areas. Sanitation in third world countries is very poor and is the cause of a large amount of illness and deaths. The poor housing without basic sanitation facilities and open sewers are thriving with disease. A lack of money means proper and beneficial facilities are simply not available. For the majority of people in first world countries housing is good. Housing is strong and well made with basic sanitation facilities. Housing in third world countries it is very different. Many houses are simply small shacks made of anything possible from mud and straw to old rotting wood. The poor housing has a big affect on health and greatly increases disease and infection. The lack of money in Third World countries restricts development in various areas, causes a great increase in disease and stops people getting the nutrition they so desperately need.

Therefore, to alleviate poverty is a process that will not be achieved overnight. Focus on aid must remain, but needs to be expanded to a wider scope. Initiatives must be started to increase investment in the capacity of third world countries to produce agricultural goods efficiently in order to be able to compete in the world market. Secondly, the Western world must change its policies and mind set to decrease protectionism on its own agricultural industry, and open it up, in order to let the market determine an equilibrant price of agricultural goods, based on supply and demand. Finally, technological assistance and the transfer of knowledge and human capital from the First to the Third World will be instrumental in ending poverty, by helping establish an economic base, and ultimately make residents of the Third World more self-sufficient.

With the abovementioned steps, the problem of water supply can be solved too. Technologies exist to remove salt from ocean water, and investments can be made into the construction of such facilities, in order to bring fresh water to those who need it. Overall, spurring economic development in this manner will help alleviate political and social tensions, provide a basis for survival, and also channel funds towards the establishment of social services. Only then could we move forward to find a solution towards the ongoing armed, political and economic struggles of these Third World countries. Eliminating poverty should be the single most important goal of Western foreign policy, but doing it requires the dedication and application of tools that stretch beyond that of just humanitarian aid. (Strayer Soc 300)

Developing countries in poverty are look at by their living standards or economic progress. Poverty can be defined in absolute terms - living on less than two dollars a day - or in broader terms of access to food, water, healthcare, shelter and education. 'Third World' originally referred to countries neither aligned with the capitalist 'First World', nor with the communist 'Second World'. Developing countries mostly have a serious problem with the amount of people they need to feed and the use of their land to grow food. Not only do most governments in developing nations don't care about poverty, but to only stay in power and look for international aid and funds for their infrastructure and superstructure purposes in order to satisfy the international community and their own economic needs. These countries are being led by a lack of democracy, corruption, illnesses and ignorance. A dictator leader or elected government official will care only about how they can stay in power for as long as possible. They will spend the national income of his country on policemen and guards to protect his regimen. They will choose the minsters and other people in authority on the basis on their loyalty to him, not their efficiency. Little money is left for education and health.

“It seems astounding that there have been people making the argument that the planet has room for a steadily increasing population and that governments should stay out of the population management business. Some facts lend emphasis to the situation. Oil and fossil fuels won't be replenished; trees take time to grow; and humans take time to find means of making them grow faster. Polluted water demands either high-level human organization (to prevent pollution) or high technology and expense to clean. Nuclear waste simply can't be buried and forgotten. With the human race increasing at (an alarming) rate…all land will be needed shortly. It is clear that changes in culture will be required if humans are to survive the population crisis. Rural and agricultural civilizations needed more hands in the pre-technology age. They don't any more, and the cultural premises that underlie this thinking have to change. Such change won't be easy. Culture is imbedded in family socialization. Children learn early and more by seeing than by reading. Population management policy, made by governments, will have to reach into the home.” (Howell 1994)

In most developing countries women tend to have fewer educational opportunities than men, making them limited to occupational opportunities. This mixed in with their poverty and lack of vocational skills forces the more desperate women towards prostitution. Thailand's rural poverty had driven many of their young females towards Bangkok's industry of “sex tourism.” One study of Manila (Philippines) and Bangkok (Thailand) revealed that up to nine percent of female employment in these two cities was prostitution related. Some poor families were so desperate in these regions that they had sold their young daughters to brothels or were given them up as collateral for loans. Poverty in other Southeast Asia countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines is even worse, with numbers in the hundreds of thousands of women prostitutes in these countries. African women in poverty countries like Kenya also have a high prostitution rate and are their main source of employment (Strayer Soc 300). Women prostitution n poverty countries, just add to additional problems; such as environmental deterioration and infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

“To explain the disasters, repression, corruption, nepotism, and stagnation that ravage the Southern hemisphere, the key concept of neocolonialism are invoked…Is poverty spreading like wildfire? This, of course, is because of the shameful pillage committed by multinational corporations. French colonialists, American imperialists, English overlords, and Dutch, German, and Swiss businessmen are invoked to explain illiteracy, epidemics, wars, falling standards of living, and the despotism of peoples' new leaders…instead of taking reality into account, instead of looking for causal relationships, far-off causations that pardon the states in the tropics are preferred. Thus, neocolonialism is the universal sin that becomes a way of permanently dismissing the problems of the real world.” (Bruckner 1986)

Poverty has decrease astonishingly over 20 percent since 1980. In the past 20 plus years, close to a billion people around the world have pulled out of poverty by effective development aid by First World countries; resulting in economic growth and hard work. The Third Worlds underdevelopment is marked by a number of widespread traits; unclear and highly dependent economies dedicated to producing primary products for the First Worlds “developed” and provide markets for their finished merchandise; traditional, countryside social structures; high population growth; and mostly widespread poverty. However, the third world is different; for it includes countries with various levels of economic development. And despite their poverty of the countryside and the urban shack type towns, the ruling leaders of most these third world countries are wealthy. Poverty has a great contribution to diseases in many of ways; it reduces the availability for treatment, people getting access to health care, lowers their educational levels, and makes people to reduce their standards of housing and related utilities. Poverty is a significant health risk even in developed countries, but is mostly serious in developing “Third World” countries. Third world poverty has reduced in recent decades as health standards, life expectancy, levels of education, and world trade have increased. “The expansion of microfinance has also helped the world's poor. However, poverty remains severe in many countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The Millennium Development Goals targeting hunger, sanitation, disease, and illiteracy are the international community's response.” (Allianz)


Pascal Bruckner; The Tears of the White Man, 1986 (Imperialism Does Not Cause Third World Poverty by Carlos Rangel; Article Viewpoint 2, The Problems of the Real World)

Llewellyn D. Howell; USA Today, September 1994; (Third World Overpopulation Causes Poverty by Malcolm W. Browne, Article View Point 1, Facing the Population Facts)

Strayer Univeristy, Text Book SOC 300, Sociology of Developing Countries (The Challenge of Third World Development, 2009 Custom Edition

Strayer Univeristy, Reference Text Book SOC 300, Sociology of Developing Countries (The Challenge of Third World Development, 2009 Custom Edition