Facts that lead to poverty: th
Poverty occurs in most parts of the world. Nevertheless, the more serious and problematical poverty takes part in the third world and the southern parts of the globe. First of all, we have to clearly define the word “poverty”. In a broad sense, it means that people within this “poverty” region are poor or have a lower average income per capita than other regions. To a deeper approach, we refer “poverty” as people have low educational backgrounds, lack of food supplies, or people with lower standard of livings, etc. According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word “poverty” can be defined as: 1) the condition or quality of being poor 2) deficiency; inadequacy 3) scarcity (Webster’s p.461). Generally in this essay, we will examine the facts that lead to the poverty of these third world and southern countries.
The first and the most serious problem that causes by poverty are hunger, or preciously, malnutrition. We can find these kinds of problems almost all over Africa and some other underdeveloped countries. These were witnessed by thousands of people through TV, radio, newspaper, journals, etc. “In the early 1980s, the mass media dramatically brought us the picture of hunger from Africa – starving children, skin and bone, with their bloated bellies, too weak to even stand up.” (Warnock p.1) At the same time, people living in more developed countries or wealthy states are enjoying different kinds of delicious meals and dumping whatever they don’t like. Why would this happen? Can we refer this to the government or economical policies that rise the problems? To further explore the problem of hunger in Africa, we can easily relate this to poverty. In fact, there may be some other problems that cause the hunger. For example, local drought in the African Sahel that damages the cropping; which in turn shorten the local food supplies. The other factor is the rapid population growth in Africa. Increasing capita means an increase demand of food. People in Africa are rarely taught the knowledge of birth-control. “If you have money you eat well, no matter how fast the population around you is growing and no matter how short the supplies of energy or land or fertilizer.” (Kent p.77) According to Kent’s view, we shall see that money can buy off the problem of hunger easily. But why Africa is still facing a lot of famine problems within its region? This can be explained by the “chain-effect” of poverty and hunger. If people are poor, they won’t have enough to produce in order to exchange for money. Without money, they will suffer from hunger and famine and not be able to produce efficiently due to their lack of energy. Now that we can see the problem is magnetized.
The other issues that rise poverty in Africa is the irrational economical policies and huge amount of financial debts. “According to U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, the debt-service obligations within African countries dedicating an estimated 34 percent of the income generated by the export of goods and services to interest payments.” (Reeves p.115) We can see that many of the incomes generated by the working forces are obligating for the foreign debt payments. One of the irrational policies that spread hunger in Africa is the structural adjustment program (SAPs):
…promoted by the World Bank and other donors. Central to adjustment programs, cuts in government food subsidies have triggered riots in many African capitals during the last several years and have meant that many families are unable to purchase sufficient amounts of bread, sugar, or other basic commodities… Throughout the continent, SAPs have called for the reduction of the often-bloated civil service sector, triggering widespread urban unemployment, and have also prescribed repeated currency devaluation, thus reducing the purchasing power of consumers. (Reeves p.124)
The third factor that triggers hunger is the militarization Africa. Throughout the years, in wars were fought inside and outside the lands of Africa. These wars had negatively weakened the production of the people. “War turns farmlands into battle zones, removes able-bodied producers from the agricultural sector, disrupts transport and marketing, and directs the bulk of foreign exchange earnings to the military.” (Reeves p.111)