FightAgainstPovertySeminar onDevelopment, Socio-Economics and GlobalIssuesUHP 6013Date of Submission: 20th December2011Huma Chaudhry[ME 111012]
The fight to reduce poverty around the world:1.0 Introduction:Lets think for a moment, if we did not have food in our belly, and if were not warmenough to feel comfortable in the cold weather, would we still care what law says?Would we still listen to the Police force? Would we be patient, even if we tried tobe? Or, is it more probable that we would be so drenched of our soul, that inmonths, we had forgotten how to even smile, or try to put up a smile, on our face?So, does it ring a bell? Could it really be true that poverty, could be a reason ahuman forgot to smile for?If it‘s such a powerful thing, that it can disable such an non-trivial task of evensimply smiling, then I am sure, it‘s that powerful thing that brings fights,revolutions, civil war, and world wars.Let‘s have a better understanding of this global issue:1.1 Poverty:What does it mean to be poor? How is poverty measured?The Third World countries are often labeled as ―developing‖ whereas the FirstWorld, industrialized nations are often referred to as ―developed‖. What does itmean to designate a nation as ―developing‖? A lack of ‗material wealth‘ does notessentially mean that one is disadvantaged. A strong economy in a developednation doesnot mean much when a significant percentage of the population isstruggling just to survive and endure life, itself.
Successful or ‗real‘ development can imply many things, such as: An progress in living standards and access to all basic needs such that a person has enough food, health, clothing, water, shelter, education, etc; A stable socio-political and economic environment, with accompanying political, social and economic freedom, such as rightful ownership of land and property; The ability to make non-coerced, free and informed choices; Ability to participate in a democratic kind of an environment with the capacity to have a say in one‘s own future; To have the full potential for what the United Nations calls Human Development: ―Human development is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means—if a very important one— of enlarging people‘s choices. — What is Human Development?, Human Development Reports, United Nations Development Program”At smallest to highest level, household, community, national and internationallevels, various aspects of the above need to be provided, as well as pledge to
various democratic institutions that do not become, and are not even likely tobecome corrupted by special interests and agendas, of army or party.Yet, for a variety of reasons, and at a variety of places around the world, these ―fullrights‖ are unavailable in many sections of various societies, ranging from therichest to the poorest. When political agendas deprive these possibilities in somenations, how can a nation develop, or even be termed as one? Is there any expectedprogress?Unfortunately, politics have led to terrible conditions in many poorer nations. Inmany cases, international political interests have led to a diversion of availableresources towards the governments with purchase potential, only. This hasstemmed in a lack of basic access to water, food, health, education and otherimportant social services. This is a major obstacle to a reasonable development.1.2 Types of Poverty:In my point of view, there are more than one kinds of poverty. Not only is the lackof resources or food, a definition of poverty, but poverty also includes: Lack of faith in your government Discontent, and the caprice of having more Shortage of Time, to even not have the time to attend to a young orphan kindlyThese types also point to an impression of resources, a nation might be strugglingfor, or maybe, the entire world may be struggling for.
1.3 Poverty: Facts and Figures:-1.3.1 Study of demographics:Let‘s study some facts and figures in order to better understand and acknowledgethe presence of the problem, throughout the globe. Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world‘s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income. A mere 12 percent of the world‘s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.
The total wealth of the top 8.3 million people around the world ―rose 8.2 percent to $30.8 trillion in 2004, giving them control of nearly a quarter of the world‘s financial assets.‖ In other words, about 0.13% of the world‘s population controlled 25% of the world‘s financial assets in 2004.1.3.2 Effects:Water problems affect half of the humanity, which is the crucial need for one tolive.Following is the source information from the World Bank‘s study‘s facts andfigures, which I would use for further discussion, later. Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%. More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day. Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day. 1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day, which is the amount of one Coke bottle, for instance, that we normally consume. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.) Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea.
Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segmentsof society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people eachyear, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day.To put this number in context, it exceeds total deaths from even moreserious threats, malaria and rivals the number of deaths from tuberculosis.1.6 billion people, which is a quarter of humanity , lives withoutelectricity.Which adds up to worse living conditions, certainly.For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)For economic growth and almost all of the other indicators, the last 20 years[of the current form of globalization, from 1980 - 2000] have shown a veryclear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades [1960 -1980]. For each indicator, countries were divided into five roughly equalgroups, according to what level the countries had achieved by the start of theperiod (1960 or 1980). Among the findings:Growth: The fall in economic growth rates was most pronounced and acrossthe board for all groups or countries.Life Expectancy: Progress in life expectancy was also reduced for 4 out ofthe 5 groups of countries, with the exception of the highest group (lifeexpectancy 69-76 years).Infant and Child Mortality: Progress in reducing infant mortality was alsoconsiderably slower during the period of globalization (1980-1998) thanover the previous two decades.
Education and literacy: Progress in education also slowed during the period of globalization.1.3.3 Other main effectsinclude:From the study of World Bank, as they note in a demonstration of their results:Health is related to income differences within the rich societies.Health and social problems are worse in unequal and unbalanced rich/poorcountries, where the gap is high.Health and social problems are not related to average income for the rich amongthe masses in the countriesFor the future population, it‘s notable that a child well-being is enhanced in moreequal patterned rich countries. Child welfare is isolated from average familyincomes in rich countries.Altitudes of conviction are higher in more equally rich countries.The frequency of mental illness and dissatisfaction is greater in more unequal richcountries.Due to the sense of deprivation and isolation, drug use is more common in moreunequal countriesLife expectancy is higher in more equal rich countries.Due to poor equal attention to patients, based on status differences, the infantmortality rates are higher in more unequal countries.
More adults are overweight due to greater stress levels in more unequal richcountries.Educational learning and successful advancements are higher in more equal richcountries Rates for Teenage giving birth are higher in more unequal rich countries Homicide rates are greater in more unequal rich countries In more unequal societies, the rates of imprisonment are higher Social mobility is higher in more equal rich countries Societies that are equal are more innovative The equal countries rank better on recycling awareness and implementationAn interesting point the world bank has made is that only the economic growth ,which is supposed to raise the income of all individuals, is not essentially a gooddetermining factor of life-expectancy and well-being, because the individuals insome developing countries can reach a level of life-expectancy analogous toindustrialized, or developing nations even, when their income may be far lower,even.Income per head and life-expectancy: rich & poor countries, The Spirit Level Slides, The Equality Trust, 2009In one deduction, economic growth ‗is‘ important when developing ‗only‘, butafter that, the equality and gap between rich and poor may be more important.Generally, the more unequal the society, the worse the problem is generally.Violence is more common in more unequal societies,Evidence: Violence, The Equality Trust, 2009.
The link between inequality and homicide rates has been shown in as many as 40studies, and the differences are large: there are five-fold differences in murder ratesbetween different countries related to inequality. The most important reason whyviolence is more common in more unequal societies is that it is often triggered bypeople feeling looked down, disrespected and loss of face.Now, lets comparethe social freedom of movement or the ability for someone tomove up the social ladder, escape poverty and have a chance for a better life whilewithin an unequal system.courtesy:http://www.globalissues.org/article/4/poverty-around-the-worldSocial mobility is higher in more equal rich countries.It is noteworthy that thesocial mobility is higher in more equally rich system based countries,--Evidence: Social Mobility, The Equality Trust, 2009.
It may be astonishing to see the United States at the low end of ‗social mobility‘when it is advertised as the ‗land of dreams‘ and ‗promises‘ for anyone, no matterwho they are. The UK is also surprisingly at the low end.Interestingly, the US and UK are the biggest advocates of ‗neoliberal economicideology‘, which has frequently played down any concerns about inequality and asan alternative focused more on raising the lot for everyone (as the interview withTony Blair reveals).Yet, it looks as if the ‗American Dream‘ is far more likely to continue a dream forAmericans than it is for people living in, for instance, the Scandinavian countries.The greater inequalities of system seem to make it easier for rich parents to pass ontheir advantages. While income differences now have broadened in Britain and theUSA, the ‗social mobility‘ has slowed and maybe braked. Now, the bigger incomedifferences may make it tougher to attain equality of opportunity because theysurge social class differentiation and perhaps chauvinism and prejudice within thesociety.— Evidence: Social Mobility, The Equality Trust, accessed December 7, 2009The implications of all these findings are important in many ways. For example, itis often said that to develop and industrialize, developing nations‘ carbonemissions needs to increase, as industrialization implies a more Energy-intensiveeconomy thriving for momentum well-paced. However, what is less discussed iswhether that means that the carbon emissions of poorer countries must be similarto today‘s industrialized nations, or should they be given leverage.
Many of today‘s developed or industrialized nations are often seen as over-consuming with respect to the planet‘s health (Emission of gases into space andcausing climate change being something largely a result of greenhouse emissionsof Carbon, Sulphur Dioxide, etc from wealthier nations, for example).2.0 Preventive Measures:2.1 Eradicating Child labor:Yoday more than 200 million children are In child labor. 115 million girls andboys can be found in the worst kind of child labour in hazardous environment andslavery like condition, in armed conflict, in prostitution and pornography or workin illicit activities. Most children can be found in hazardous agricultural field.Child labour has increased but the pace has slowed down. The global economiccrisis puts pressure on more children to work. Child labour works for longer hours.This all happens while other children are learning.Breaking the cycle of povertyrequires to curb the child labour. We can resolve to do voluntary work foreducating them, and especially their parents to understand and feel the need toeducate their children so that poverty paracite can be killed from their generationafter generation.2.2 Discouraging street beggary:The government needs t ensure to have a strict law against street beggary. Onlywith strict punishment and warnings can this menace be curbed. The families,including parents as well as very young children, are begging on the streets andearn substantial living while begging. This must be followed as to how to provide
small scale business opportunities to these people instead, so that instead ofearning through begging, they can actually work and earn law-ful earnings.2.3 Free Education:There has to be participation from the youth of the country to volunteer and feelthe need to educate the cildrem of poor famileies, who can‘t afford tuition or extraclasses fee, or even school fee. If only they get free education and get looked afterby the government, they can look after not only themselves, but their family theirrelatives, their country, and hence this ripple of goodness can bring a very strongand big impact on the welfare of the poor people of the country.2.4 Fight against Poverty and women:President Haleengayle, of CARE, the UN organization working to put an end topoverty by 2015 mission, says that: ‗ One of the worlds‘ leading poverty fightingorganization, CARE is on the leading role to fight against poverty. By seeingpoverty up close, one thing is clear.More often than that the face of poverty iswoman. Did you know that women work 1.4 billion people living on just over 1dollar a day, 70 % are women. Women work 2/3rd of world work but only get 10%of the income. They produce half of the worlds‘ food but own 1 % of land. And of900 million adults who are illiterate, 2/3rd are women. So women and girls are thepoorest most excluded group on the face of the earth. That‘s why promotinggender equality of the goal number 3 of the UN MILLINIUM DEVELOPMENTGOAL is so important In fact cutting poverty by ½ by 2015 depends on it. InCARE we empower marginalize women and girls so that they can perform apositive and significant role in society. We look at their whole life and intervene intheir life by knowledge, tools and resources. With only little help they can find lastin solution to poverty and bring change to their community. Ending poverty means
creating the world where everyone has an equal opportunity to realize his or herpotential, this starts with gender equality. If we all do our part, it‘s a world withinour reach.‘3.0 Benefits of eradicating poverty:3.1 Benefit to the poor and the world:Gradually, due to increasing poverty as a result of economic breakdown, may ofthe countries are becoming economically polarized. And through this fight againstpoverty, the decades-old dominant economic dogma that growing wealth amongsociety‘s highest earners would trickle down to those less fortunate is beingchallenged by an alternative approach: Eliminate crushing poverty among thelowest earners, and wealth will ooze up.‗Human development is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes.It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potentialand lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. Peopleare the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choicespeople have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more thaneconomic growth, which is only a means—if a very important one—of enlargingpeople‘s choices.‘— What is Human Development?, Human Development Reports, United Nations Development Program3.2 Benefit for You, in fighting against Poverty:Poverty of any form is a loss. Since the entire mankind is connected to each otherthrough the tree of Even and Adam, its our moral duty to attend to a matter whichafflicts such a vast majority of our family at large. Instead of filling our belly three,or more times, a day, if we sacrifice one meal, and give it to those who haven‘t hada single one since days, would reap us complete happiness and satisfaction. The
purpose of life is defined only when we stop seeing ourselves as individuals,consumed with our own interests, but instead, see ourselves as an element of thegalaxy.When trying to cut someone‘s sufferings and pains, it will be worth it to seethat happy shine in their eyes become another star of the galaxy.