What is poverty? Poverty is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as a lack of money or material possessions. Therefore, poverty is hunger, lack of shelter, being sick and not being able to see a doctor. There are many problems that people living in poverty face such as, inadequate housing, poor nutrition and poor education. Global Poverty is caused by many factors which include, but are not limited to, governance factors, environmental factors, and demographic and social factors. One of the other main factors of global poverty is the debts of nations.
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The governance factor plays a huge role is poor countries. Most poor countries in the world are lacking democracy and with that lack of democracy high levels of corruption undermine efforts to make a sustainable impact on poverty. In Nigeria, for example, more than $400 billion was stolen from the treasury by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999. This shows that government plays a huge role in the countries poverty. If the government does not spend the money wisely, or if they simply steal the money for themselves, the people in that nation will suffer. The money the government earns should be used to establish more jobs, provide essential infrastructures, and help ensure that everyone receives proper education and medical attention.
One of the other factors that play in a role in causing poverty is the environmental factor. The main problem in the environmental factor is deforestation. Historically utilization of forest products, including timber and fuel wood, have played a key role in human societies. Today, developed countries continue to utilize timber for building houses. In developing countries almost three billion people rely on wood for heating and cooking. The forest products industry is a large part of the economy in both developed and developing countries. With deforestation, the agricultural economy of a nation loses its strength. This leads to people losing jobs, governments losing money, and eventually this all leads to poverty within the nation.
Another factor that causes poverty is the demographic and social factors. This includes everything from war, crimes, to overpopulation. Many poor nations tend to be at war, mostly wars within the nation. These can be anything from genocide to drug wars. When a country must deal with a war, this means that the country must spend money on defense and some even have to loan money which they will have to pay back with interest. Some of the poor countries dealing with wars can even loan money because they are so deep in debt that they cannot afford to loan any more money. This causes the country to be divided and with a battle being fought on home soil, the economy of the country suffers. When the economy of a country suffers it all leads back to the problem which is poverty.
The main factor in causing poverty is the debts of nations. Most poor nations in the world cannot help the poor in their country due to the fact that they are in debt. The reason that they are in debt is because the rich countries impose high interest rates on the poor nations. Some nations have been in debt since they have become independent, while other have been in debt due to the pressure of taking out loans for resources such as oil from OPEC. With such a large debt, poor countries cannot help better their economy or help their citizens because they have to spend their money on paying back debts with high interest rates.
Take the country of Haiti for example. Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Americas. In Haiti, 80% of the population lives in abject poverty and one out of nine children die before reaching their fifth birthday. Half of the population is illiterate and the life if you live past the age of fifty you are one of the few lucky ones. Haiti’s problem is the fact that they are so much in debt that the only way to resolve the problem is to relieve them from that debt.
Haiti’s debt began shortly after it gained its independence from France. France demanded that Haiti compensate them for the loss of one of its main slave colonies. France demanded that Haiti pay them $21 billion (in today’s currency) and if not they would be overwhelmed and attacked by the French Fleet. So instead of establishing an economy and establishing infrastructures, Haiti was forced to send all available money to France.
After that from 1957 to 1986 under the 29-year rule of the Duvalier father and son dictatorship, the country’s debt skyrocketed. For nearly thirty years they diverted foreign assistance into their pockets and those of their allies. In 2005, the country’s total external public debt reached $1.3 billion, nearly half of which was accrued under the Duvalier regime. This is a perfect example of how corruption in the government can cause poverty within a nation. The environment in Haiti is also downgrading. The soil has become unfertile, the water is polluted and all of this has led to problems in Haiti’s agricultural economy.
Since Haiti is in so much debt, this takes resources away from vital programs that could help poor them combat poverty and work for development. Since the poverty level in Haiti is so high, the hunger level is high as well. Every year an estimated 38,000 children under the age of five die, one out of three because of malnutrition. In Haiti, food supply covers only 55 percent of the population.
The poverty in Haiti cause hunger within the nation. The people of Haiti have to face the problems of hunger due to poverty. Some of those problems include, but are not limited to, malnutrition, undernourishment, chronic malnutrition, and starvation. All these things lead to deaths and social upheavals. These people have to do everything they possibly can in order to survive with the little amount of food they consume.
The main problem is simply that Haiti is a poor nation which does not have the money to help its citizens. Whether it is the amount of debt they are in or the amount of money stolen from corrupt governments, Haiti’s people are in desperate need of help because hunger is taking the lives of many individuals. Haiti ranks along with Afghanistan and Somalia as one of the three countries of the world with the worst daily caloric deficit per inhabitant (460 kcal/day). Some 2.4 million Haitians cannot afford the minimum 2,240 daily calories recommended by the World Health Organization.
The Haitian crisis is so extreme it forces people to eat mud cookies to relieve hunger. It is a desperate Haitian remedy made from dried yellow dirt from the country’s central plateau for those who can afford it, it is not free. Not only is it not free and has a fowl taste, but also a mud cookie diet causes severe malnutrition, intestinal distress, and other deleterious effects from potentially deadly toxins and parasites.
With all the hunger in Haiti, all those people begin to develop health problems. More than half of Haiti’s women suffer from anemia which causes fatigue, shortness of breath and vertigo. It is often the result of a diet poor in iron as well as worm infestation and malaria. The situation is even worse for pregnant women, with two out of three mothers-to-be suffering from the condition. It is one of the leading causes of spontaneous abortion and death during delivery.
Seventy-six percent of Haitians live on less than $2 per day, while 55 percent live on less than $1 per day. With food prices rising due to the nation’s debt and corrupt government, the poor people of Haiti can barely eat with the money they earn. With all the factors that cause poverty in Haiti, it makes the people of Haiti go hungry and have to fight to live every single day.
In or day poverty is a major issue with approximately 1.2 bllion people currently living below the international poverty line by earning less than $1 per day. As a result 815 million people are undernourished. With all the factors such as, governance factors, environmental factors, and demographic and social factors, and the debts of poor nations it is easy to see that the world needs to improve. There are millions of people in the world starving and struggling to survive. The cause of poverty leads to hunger which leads to death and in the long run every single person poor or rich will be affected. The Church Fathers said, “feed the man dying of hunger, because if you have not fed him, you have killed him”. This statement is something we should all live by because if we are not helping solve poverty, we are helping the spread of hunger in the world.
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