Absolute poverty is defined as the theory of staying hunger because foods are limited among everyone, becoming Ill yet unable to see a doctor because health care Is not available, and being aloof from education due to the lack of opportunities. Absolute poverty is the worst degree of poverty and it often happens in under-developed countries which are referred to as the Third World’. According to World Poverty by Justine Healed, absolute poverty kills over eight million lives every year and it remains as one of the global issues that has greatly impacted our society throughout history.
The causes, effects and solutions of absolute poverty will all be discussed in this essay. There are many reasons as to the causes of absolute poverty. Colonialism, war and conflicts, education, empowerment, structural adjustment, corruption and elitism are some examples. However, I think that war and conflicts; corruption and elitism; and structural adjustment are the three major causes of absolute poverty. War and conflicts happen more frequently in the third world countries when inequity exists among certain groups of people, which results in the desperation of lands, foods and rights.
Countries that are always at war spend an enormous amount of money on war efforts, which would otherwise be circulated Into the economy and the development of an individual country. War and conflicts affect hundreds of thousands of innocent lives across the world. Consequently, absolute poverty is an outcome of it as homes and health care systems are destroyed. Many are helpless with the spread of diseases and illnesses such as malaria, AIDS/HIVE and cholera. War does not determine who is right – only who is left. ‘ – Bertrand Russell Afghanistan Is a good example of a country which Is beset with war and poverty.
The population has been struggling since war started nearly three decades ago. To date the country remains as one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world with more than half of the people living below the poverty line. Based on the survey reported by the British Charity Sofas on more than 700 Afghans, 70% of them viewed war as the main cause absolute poverty in Afghanistan. ‘Poverty actually kills more Afghans than those who die as a direct result of the armed conflict’ said North Indian, representative of the united Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights In
Afghanistan. Apart from war and conflicts, rampant corruption Is another problem facing most of the third world countries which leads to absolute poverty. Corruption often involves bribery and is seen as an act of selfishness in which a person uses power for personal gains. The corruption of a country always lead to income inequity and economic failures as the wealth and opportunities go to people who are Involved in bribery and those who are In good relations with the politicians. This creates a small group of wealthy and powerful Individuals and leaves the majority of people in hunger.
The comfort of the riches depend upon an abundant supply of the poor, commented by Voltaire. Cambodia ranks very high as far as corruption is concerned. In 2009, the prime minister of Cambodia, Hung Seen, was accused by his political opponents for mismanaging one billion dollars donation from the western governments. The money was supposed to be used for the construction of the country Infrastructures to uplift the standard of living of the Cambodia to the prime minister. I found this shocking and disappointing as I thought that as a leader of a country, the prime minister should have used the money wisely instead of arsenal gains. In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of. ‘ – Confucius The structural adjustment policies from the developed countries also contribute to the causes of absolute poverty in the third world. More often than not, when lending money to the third world countries, the International Monetary Fund (MIFF) and the World Bank implemented policy changes which include trade liberation’s, prevarication, higher interest rates and the cutback in health, education and other important social services to the recipient countries as conditions for the loan.
Trade liberation’s policy for instance, has resulted in 10,000 adults in Macaque losing their Jobs due to the relocation of the cashew nuts processing factories to India recently. The weight of evidences would suggest that structural adjustment policies have not help the third world countries to reduce poverty as the opportunities are restrained due to the loans. In my opinion, developed nations which give loans should show more compassion and not set conditions which will impair the progress he third world countries. Debt is an efficient tool. It ensures access to other peoples’ raw materials and infrastructure on the cheapest possible terms. Dozens of countries must compete…… ‘ – Susan George, A Fate Worse Than Debt, (New York: Grove Widened, 1990) Absolute poverty causes hunger and malnutrition, lack of education, low life expectancy and terrorism Just to list a few. Hunger is a major yet common issue in the third world which invariably leads to malnutrition.
The inadequacy of nutritious food intake for a basis human health affects many lives, specially children in the third world and often leads to poor health and triggers the spread of preventable and treatable diseases such as cholera, dysentery, AID/HIVE and tuberculosis. Among the third world countries, Haiti has the highest deaths (53. 3%) triggers by malnutrition. When half the world’s children are growing hungry and unhealthy, when the whole villages are being emptied by aids, we have failed to deliver on the promise of childhood. – EUNICE executive director, Carol Bellary. My research shows that about 25% of the population in the Africa continent suffers from anemia due to iron deficiency and roughly two million people suffer from permanent or night time blindness due to the lack of vitamin A deficiency. In some parts of the Africa continent, most people do not have the amount of required iodine in their bodies and not surprisingly many develop deafness, muteness, retardation and spastic paralysis.
All the diseases mentioned above are preventable and treatable but unfortunately they are seen as a burden in the third world as sanitation and the health facilities are either not accessible or not as advanced as the developed nations. I believe that, apart from donating money to build the health facilities, the developed nations should also send their medical expert teams to the third world countries to train and upgrade the skills of the local medical staff. ‘There is a potential for widespread disease, greater malnutrition and the displacement of significant numbers of people. – Ann Penman My next point is the lack of education due to absolute poverty. The United Nations Universal of Human Rights stated that everyone has the right to an education. However, high percentages of children in the re not available or the children have to work to help support their families. Lack of funding from the government, inadequate school facilities and shortage of qualified teachers makes it more difficult for the children to have a good education. ‘Third world countries will have to allocate more budgets for education purpose.
It is a great investment because money spends for education will be fruitful for country in future. ‘ – Made Rasher Due to financial constraint, classrooms in most third world countries are usually packed with more than thirty students, some even without the essential facilities such as tables and chairs. They also have to share textbooks in a large group, or sometimes as a class because there are not enough for each student. Education is very important as it supports the development of a country which in turn improves the living standard of the people.
When there are more educated people in a country, opportunities will be exposed in much different ways. This can really increase the income of an individual and the economics of a country, which then poverty can be reduced as a whole. ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela There is a risk that absolute poverty can breed extremism. As people are living under an unhealthy and sometimes life threatening conditions, there is a tendency for them to turn to religion to learn about other ways of living.
Several third world countries have very strong religious extremists. I think the reason is because the countries are so poor that the people would rather believed in god instead of the reality as they believe that there is a better world that exists once they die. When your pay is spending to live, it is hard not to believe in the way the world is. I prefer to believe in another world, one made by God, not men. Maybe that world only exists when we die, but it must surely be a better place. – A Muslim man, Hussy once said Before my research on absolute poverty in the third world, I have a little knowledge of how the people in these countries live. In Australia, we tend to take things like education and food for granted. However, in countries like Honduras, education is not always an option available for all the community and clean water do not always run from pipes to houses for safety drinking. In fact, some parts of Honduras do not even have electricity supply and tap water. To make matter worse, diseases such as malaria and dengue that run out of control cannot be treated due to the lack of medical equipments.
In the village of Solidarity, children do not go to school due to bridge collapsing and women in labors have to be carried in a sheet to the nearest health care centre because roads are impassable, as they are rutted with massive rocks that not even a ex. Truck could drive through. Natural disasters such as hurricanes also occur frequently which destroyed homes and killed many people resulting in many children becoming orphaned. I never realism how good my life is until I become aware of the tough lives of people in the third world countries.
I do not worry about what will happen to me tomorrow but there are people in other parts of the world who might get through a day without foods and shelters. I have come to understand that the gap between the rich and the poor nations is a getting widest by each day. ‘My first world is humanity. My second world is humanism. And, I live in the third world being merely a human. ‘ – Santos Galway Many developed countries have made an effort to improve the lives of people in the third world. Australia’s aid Tanzania, Macaque and Zanzibar by providing them with clean water supply and sanitation program.
With the help of Australia’s aid program over the past 40 years, childbirth death rate has been reduced by 50% and life expectancy increased by 20% in these countries. As a responsible citizen, we can also help reduce absolute poverty in the third world countries by donating to the local charity and international organizations such as the World Vision, EUNICE and the Sofas. Child adoption is also an ideal option to change and support a child’s life. I believe we can eke a difference if we are passionate about the issue of mitigating poverty.
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. ‘ – Dry. Loretta Scott In conclusion, absolute poverty is an ongoing war which every one of us should fight to overcome. I could never imagine myself living in the conditions whereby foods, shelter, sanitation and education are not easily available or accessible. We can do our part in helping to reduce poverty in third world countries by donating generously to organizations such as the World Vision and the Sofas. Let us transform lives and bring hope to the less fortunate.