Poverty and the Global Political Economy —
More than 80 percent of the people in the world live on less than $10 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of the global income. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty (Shah, 2013). In a global political economy where we are racing towards development for a supposed ‘better future’ the omnipresent problem of poverty persists and is still as far reaching as it ever has been which in turn often makes it difficult to account for, and indeed minimize. To define poverty, one establishes a certain threshold called the poverty line. It is the minimum amount of money a person needs to make in order for their basic necessities fulfilled.
You cannot simplify the causes of poverty and its varying nature, of course often poverty is discussed in relative terms, in say developed countries poverty may be measured within the realm of household income up against your contemporaries, or feeling as if you have little to no surplus income in which to enjoy your hard earned money, and thus feel ‘poor’ within the scope of your peers, naturally there are several examples of this and lack of surplus income is just one of those poverty parameters within the developed world. In the developing world the nature of poverty is perhaps much more clear cut and easier to define and recognize. Poverty in the developing world has been attributed to natural phenomena such as drought or famine. Or indeed societal causes such as lack of employment or as a result of war. In many developing countries, earning less than $1.25 makes you a poor citizen (Lusted, 2010). Poverty has many causes but the most pressing cause is the lack of attribution of proper resources.
While the global economic goal continues to be working towards reducing poverty it seems that many governmental organizations and non-profitable organizations working on the issue fall short. The failure cannot be entirely blamed on weak or ineffectual policies but rather a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the problem. Some causes of poverty are historical colonialism, war and political instability, debt, social inequality and vulnerability to natural disasters. These conditions generated by these factors do not let a country progress which traps them in a perpetual cycle of poverty (Williams, n.d). Poverty is a serious problem because it hinders international development.
The international and national leaders need to be held accountable for poverty and reduction efforts. However, it is necessary to first realize the magnitude of the problem as not just a small niche that “doesn’t really effect the west” but a matter that has global impact. One important move by the world leaders came in the form of the G-20 summit countries who have taken up the issue of reducing global poverty in its Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth (Gertz and Chandy, 2011).
To sum up, poverty is not something that the world can eradicate in a day or a week. It requires a constant and continued effort to change the mindset of the world’s varying nations and populations- in order to make sure that they thrive towards a more sustainable agenda. Poverty is one of the most pressing global issues that impacts developed and developing countries on similar levels. More initiatives are required to fight the plague of poverty and reduce the loss of lives because of it. If we are to keep pace and enjoy the fruits of the rapid technological development of our world we need to make a consorted effort to eradicate poverty, now more than ever.
- Gertz, G. & Chandy, L. (2011). Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015 | Brookings Institution. Brookings. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from https://www.brookings.edu/research/poverty-in-numbers-the-changing-state-of-global-poverty-from-2005-to-2015/
- Lüsted, M. A. (2010).Poverty. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub.
- Shah, A. (2013). Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues. org. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
- Williams, D. (2016). Top 5 Causes of Poverty – The Borgen Project. The Borgen Project. Retrieved 12 December 2016, from http://borgenproject.org/what-causes-global-poverty/
Helen O’Neill – M00437799