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Global Poverty-causes, effects and solutions

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Imogen Hook

on 8 July 2013

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Transcript of Global Poverty-causes, effects and solutions

Absolute Poverty
How is poverty measured?
Causes of poverty
Effects of poverty
Absolute poverty is when people are living on the minimum amounts of food, clothing and shelter necessary for survival.

This is because the income levels are inadequate to enjoy minimum living standards.

Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day, this is absolute poverty.
Relative poverty is when the standard of living or income is low relative to the rest of society. The lack of access to many goods and services leads to exclusion and damaging results for individuals and families. This doesn’t imply that the necessities of nutrition, health and shelter can’t be met but there is a lack of access.
Relative Poverty
Solutions to extreme poverty
There are a number of ways in which poverty can be measured. One way is by Gross Domestic Product (GDP)- the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.
To measure poverty all the money made in the country is then divided by the number of people in the country.

This can then be compared to other measures such as infant mortality rate or access to education.
War affects people in many ways. If a country is at war young people are taken to fight those wars. This means less people to work. For poor families this may mean they can't make enough to eat.

For a country it means industries are often changes to meet the needs of war.

If the war is on their soil then there will be damage to infrastructure and land that can again mean people cannot make a decent living.

If the US was to use 1/2 its military budget then extreme poverty would not exist.

War is one factor that can create a downward spiral into poverty.
Lack of access to health care is one of the biggest factors in the poverty cycle. In many countries access to health care is not a fact of everyday life. May illnesses and diseases are quite treatable, but the medication might be too expensive, the medication might be stolen by corrupt officials or the people may live in remote areas and to be able to get to medical facilities.

Many diseases could be prevented through a combination of immunisation, good sanitation and other health care practices such as using mosquito nets.

If a bread winner gets sick they cannot work. If they cannot work they do not earn money. if the do not earn money they cannot buy food. if they cannot buy food then they will get weak and sicker. This is the poverty cycle.
Corruption is fact of life in may poorer countries. India is a good example of where corruption is an accepted part of life and people often do not attempt to fight it, but just accept it.

Corruption is when people use their position of power for their own benefit and thereby disadvantaging others. Those who are disadvantaged are usually the very poor who in most cases do not have a voice which can be heard.

Corruption can be the stealing of food, medicine and other items meant for the disadvantaged. these items can often be sent by donor countries to assist those in extreme poverty,

Other examples can be in terms of education. A person may be paid to provide educational services and take this money without actually providing the service.

What corruption means is twofold. Resources don't go to where they have been targetted. The poor are taken advantage of and don't have a voice to change this, therefore becoming even more disadvantaged.
Disease and health care go hand in hand.

There are many types of diseases which contribute to poverty: airborne, waterborne, transmitted by people or animals and those that exist in the soil.

Diseases can be spread because of a lack of education. A major issue is sanitation- clean water and using latrines (see sanitation as a cause).

Another problem is having the resources to prevent the diseases eg money is needed for mosquito nets, for immunisation, for retroviral drugs and for condoms.

Sometimes cultural beliefs will also play a part. People will do things as they always have done, and this can lead to the transmission of diseases like AIDS.

Diahorrea is one of the biggest killers in the majority world, especially of children. It is hard to believe such a treatable disease could kill thousands of people every year.
Overpopulation is often cited as a major problem as it puts a strain on resources. This is a fact, but more importantly is that as a whole the world does have enough resources, however, they are not being shared equitably.

On a country by country basis a large population causes problems when there are not the resources locally to support that population.

For a family, large numbers can be a bonus and a problem. More people means more workers and some of these children will survive to adulthood and then look after their parents. However, big families also have more mouths to be feed and in rural communities more people who have to share the land.
An effect of poverty is a lack of access to resources. Without money people cannot afford health care, education and other services as these all cost money. This will then further disadvantage them.
Lack of access to services
Lack of access to resources
Again without money people cannot afford items that will ensure their continued survival such as seeds for next years crop or tools to ensure that they can work efficiently. It can mean they cannot buy the raw materials for their labour. When this happens they can be taken advantage of by loan sharks and become trapped into slavery in order to survive.
High mortality rate
An effect of extreme poverty is the high infant mortality rate. Children die everyday from preventable causes- diseases such as diahorrea.

Another effect is the high maternal mortality rate. Without access to medical support many women die in labour, especially those in remote and rural communities where there are no trained midwives.

Losing a mother places other children in vulnerable situations. They may be sold into slavery or prostitution or have to work long hours to help support the family and therefore not having an education themselves.
Lack of education is perhaps one of the most important causes of poverty. Without an education people do not learn about health care, about how to raise their children in a way to ensure their survival, about sanitation and most importantly they do not know their rights. For example in India education is a right of every child but millions of people do not know this , so cannot take advantage of this.

An educated person knows how to care for themselves and their families and they know how to access what they are entitled to.
Poor sanitation is a killer. If latrines are not used then diseases are spread causing gastro-intestinal problems and especially the deadly diahorrea. People need to be educated about the benefits of using latrines so that the whole community will benefit.

Unclean water is also a problem. Again this leads to life threatening diseases. Education about caring for water and boiling it can be life saving measures.
Most factors that lead to extreme poverty are outside of the control of the peole suffering from poverty.
Millennium Goals Report Card
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger


World Bank, you have started off well to achieve your goals. There has been some decline with achievement for Western Asia where some progress needs to be made. Continue with your hard work and strive for the best results.
Achieve universal primary education


World Bank, well done on a good start to achieving your goal. As you can see on the map that Central Asia is getting left behind and I think some extra work needs to be done here.
Promote gender equality and empower women


World Bank, you have made great success for girl’s education and slowly started improving women’s economic and political participation.
Reduce child mortality


World Bank, as progress has been made everywhere you are doing a great job. As child mortality has fallen by one third, and as children in rural areas face a higher risk then urban children.
Improve maternal health


World Bank, you have started to make progress but you seem to be struggling to make the achievements for Sub-Saharan Africa. As you have reduced maternal mortality by 34% by 2008 you have struggled to make ends meet in Africa which is making your look very difficult to achieve.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases


World Bank, there has been great progress with tuberculosis falling in Africa and the treatment is increasingly available. Also 20% decrease in deaths for malaria.
Ensure environmental sustainability


World Bank, you have seemed to struggle as the world faces an environmental crisis. As Western Asia, Eastern Asia, Caucasus and Central Asia, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia and Oceania have made little progress. Difficult times are ahead but keep trying to achieve the goal.
Develop a global partnership for development


World Bank, you have made great progress to achieve your goal. Your aim was for increased internet access. You have done a great job to already gain internet access to Latin America and Caribbean, Northern Africa, Western Asia, Caucasus and Central Asia, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, South-Eastern Asia and Oceania.

However, fair and free trade has not improved significantly.
Summary comment

World Bank, you have started to make great progress on some goals like Goal 8- Develop a Global Partnership for development but there are some goals where you have made little progress and seemed to struggle.

This diagram is just one that shows how the poverty trap works. This is related to overpopulation and the way this will drain the soil and lead to poverty.
This is another example of the poverty cycle showing how lack of education impacts poverty.
The above graph shows the progress made on the Millennium Goals as reported by The United Nations
Poverty is an issue affecting many lives all over the world. Poverty exists in all countries, but it is extreme or absolute poverty that is of the greatest concern.

As poverty is a cycle is takes a long time to fix the problem. However, it also offers many opportunities to make a difference. There is not just one way that action can be taken.

Poverty varies in severity but the world should continue to work towards solving this problem as it is a cycle that continues and is difficult to stop.

Evidence shows that real differences are being made and that in this generation absolute poverty can be abolished.

Although governments are in postions of power and can initiate policies and practices to make a difference, ordinary people can also band together and use their combined voice to exact the change they want.
Bono has been involved in the fight against poverty, and with that he has created the ONE Campaign. He works on the macro scale which is globally.

To solve poverty and he uses his success in his own career to help this program succeed. He believes that wealthy countries should be more to help which can be done by increasing % no GDP.

He also believes that people should use their voices to put pressure on governments.

He works closely with world leaders to keep them as there are enough resources globally, they are just unequally distributed.
Mortenson is a co-founder and former executive director of the non-profit Central Asia Institute, and the founder of the charity “Pennies for peace” . He works to benefit poor countries, especially Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, by giving them schools and supplies to break the poverty cycle.

He believes that people can break free from the poverty cycle if they are given access to education and basic resources. That people know what they need, they just are not always in the position to access these resources.

His particular focus is on the education of girls- the girl effect. This is because when a girl is educated she uses her knowledge to improve conditions for her family and her community.
Yunus is a Bangladeshi banker, economist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He works on a micro-scale which helps people by providing them with very small loans, often of only a few cents. This helps break the poverty cycle by giving them the power over their own lives rather than being in the hands of loan sharks.

Yunus has put the banks in the control of each community thus empowering them. In addition a loan comes with the expectation that 16 decisions must be adhered to. These include: educating children, feeding them nourishing meals, using latrines. These decisions aim to break the poverty cycle apart by operating on a number of areas all at once.
He believes that people have the power to make changes.
The Global Povert Project is a group that does not work directly with people in poverty but aims to increase awareness in the minority world and to educate people so that they can be involved in making changes that will forever remove absolute poverty from the world.

A particular focus is on understanding that women are treated unequally in many parts of the world. They do 66% of the world's work but earn less than 10% income and own1/ 100 of the world's property.

They show groups, including school students how everyone can be an active global citizen by contributing in small ways such as by fair trade products.
We have been able to see that poverty is a major issue in the world that needs to be solved. Because of poverty people are dying and the majority of these are children.

There are many ways of tackling poverty. It is important to use all these ways as they operate on different aspects of that poverty. While governments have a great deal of power to make a difference so do we.

To tackle poverty people must make their voices loud and be heard so that everyone (including those in power) can see that poverty needs to be made a priority. We have the power to be heard to end this cycle. Let’s make the message heard today.

Which solution is best?
I believe that Bono’s solution is best. People aren’t always aware how to fix poverty. Bono, in making his voice heard, on how to stop "stupid poverty" makes people much more aware of the issues and solutions. By combating these issues on poverty we can make a huge difference to this world. By wealthy countries increasing the % of GDP it will have a bigger benefit to others countries who have lack of money. By this happening it then shows that Bono’s ONE Campaign has worked because we can come together as one to fight poverty. His belief that everyday "soccer mums" and youth can make a difference is empowering as often people think the problem is so big that "there is nothing that I can do". He shows how every person is important in making a change. S

Thus, although all methods and actions are important if only one could be chosen I would select Bono's macro-scale actions.
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