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I will start by asking the question as follows: What is Poverty, what are the causes and is there a solution?

Poverty is when people lacks the following:- shelter, food, education, healthcare, clean drinking water, unemployment, disease, environmental changes, War etc. The poor who are mainly found in developing countries are not really poor. This is due to poor governance and misappropriate of resources which we will come to at a later stage.

Poverty is a worldwide problem that does not only affect a race or a gender or any one nation. It is a worldwide crisis. This problem is so great that they have been attempts by many people including well known organizations that have tried and continue to try to help people living in poverty around the world.

As Globalization is controversial, proponents argues that poor countries and their citizens should develop economically and raise their standards of living. While opponents of globalization claim that the creation of international free market has benefited multinational corporations in the Developed world at the expense of local cultures, common people and enterprises.

According to Adam Smith (1723-90) – “The Wealth of nations (1776), “not because he concerned that others may not have anything to eat, but because will gain from it. However, the equilibrating effects of the market (given equal exchange values) turn his individual pursuit into a contribution to the general wealth.” (Kees Van der Pijl, 2009 p2)

The gap between the rich and the poor is getting is widening by the day and this is due to poor governance, war, crime, inequality which if not dealt with lead to Poverty. Part of Millennium Sustainable Goals of the United nations was to eradicate poverty and here we are now towards the end of 2015, Poverty still exists in most of the Developing Countries. This is also caused by the fixing of prices by Developed nations that are paying unreasonable prices on goods such as Cocoa, Copper, Emeralds, Gold, Tobacco, Zinc etc and as the Developing world need the money, thy have to agree to these prices. Most often, Developing countries are forced to sell materials in their raw form and once processed in a developed country, they are sold at a much higher price which only a few can afford.
Developing Countries can improve their livelihood through education, good governance, development and anti- poverty programmes, acquiring machinery that will be used to convert raw materials into finished goods and products that way it will be sold at a profit to the developed countries and that will be beneficial to their own countries and their people as a whole. Developing nations also need to invest money obtained as Aid in infrastructures, such as hospital, schools, roads, clean water and sewerage system, food and good nutrition as these help in building a stronger nation, affordable health care, and good roads in in order to transport the goods to the port or markets.

We also have projects run by the Red Cross, Oxfam, USAID, UNFAO, UNCEIF, UNDP and the World Bank with the Millennium Goals and again we will come to that at a later stage and see if anything has been achieved or is it just goal post shifting.

Issues of poverty have been around for a long time but they are other causes of poverty a person can be in complete control of and others not. Poverty is high in most developing countries and the most affected are children, women and girls this is very disturbing indeed.

Poverty is mistakenly classified as lack of money and money is not everything that creates a solid foundation of a healthy life. Citizens are always victims of poverty. This is due to the following of social and economic statuses that are prepared for them in order to cope with situations. Most theorists and I quote “agree that there are two factors that influence downward mobility. The rich and the poor move from one class to another and a number of changes that take place can be large or small.”

People do not realize that a little can add up to equal or a large change.


Source: Development Initiatives based on DAC data and World Bank (2013).

According to the UN world millennium development goal on poverty, 14% of the world population does not have adequate access to food. As can been seen from the World Bank data map of 2015 immediate action is need it to meet the millennium goal. According to the World Bank report, ‘In 2010, an estimated 21% of people in the developing world lived at or below $1.24 a day…More than a billion people worldwide still live in extreme poverty, and many more experience huger and are vulnerable to environmental or price shocks…The World Bank is working with the international community to end extreme poverty in a generation and boost incomes for the bottom 40% in each country. With food security a vital part of this effort, the Bank Group is boosting agriculture financing to $8-10 billion a year and is working in multiple ways to build agricultural productivity.’ (World Bank, 2015)

“For example, the world trade to world GDP rose from a little under 30 per cent in 1970 to a little 60 percent in 2001, and this was according to the World Development Indicators” – Ravenhill, J – Forth Edition (2014).
During the recession of 2007-8, no one was spared from poverty. We say ques to Food Banks in the United Kingdom and the United States as no one was spared. Families relied on food vouchers in order to survive as the main bread earner in the family lost their jobs, properties and were working fewer hours as companies lay off their employees.

Families have to have more than one job in order to survive nowadays as one wage cannot provide food and pay bills for. We hear on the newspapers how young men and women are trafficked for prostitution to development countries due to them living in poverty in their homelands. Mostly trafficked are under 18’s who want to be footballers and want to play for big clubs in Europe. We also have your teenage girls who are trafficked and promised a good education in developing countries, and as soon they arrive in European, they were sold off as house servants, prostitutes, babysitters who do not even get paid nor have a chance to go to school or access any form of education or health care. As to football, FIFA need to do more by passing information to most of the developing countries that no child below the age of 18 should be in a football contract as stipulated in its regulations in order to avoid young to trafficked nor matter how talented they are.
For decades now, regions of people living in poverty has changed and this ca be seen in World Bank Report of 2002 and in the 2008 International Labour Report of the World Bank, capitalism has been linked to its matching statistics of the World Bank record (2008 International Labour Organization). Part of the World Bank Group on the Eradication of Poverty and Hunger by 2015 Programme, it was agreed that Poverty can be eradicated by investing in agriculture, creating jobs, expanding social safety nets, expanding nutrition programmes for children under the age of 2, universalizing education, promoting gender equality and protecting countries that are vulnerable during the crises. Up till now, not much has been achieved and hence moving the goal post to 2030 (The World Bank – Millennium Development Goals – Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger by 2015).


International Labour Organisation (2008) Global Wag Report 2008/09 Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining. Towards Coherence Policy

Kees Van der Pijl (2009) ‘From Classical to Global Political Economy: A Survey of Global Political Economy’ (Version 2.1 Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex) pp. 1 – 29. Available at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ir/documents/091theories.pdf

Ravenhill, J (2011) ‘The Study of Global Political Economy’ Chapter 12 in Global Political Economy (OUP 4rd edition), pp. 307– 316.

The Levin Institute – The State University of New York Authorship (2015) “What Is Globalization?” at  http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/

The World Bank (2015)  World Bank Group: Working to End Extreme Poverty and Hunger in  “Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger by 2015”. Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/mdgs/poverty_hunger.html

Shirley Chanda

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