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Poverty is defined as a lack or shortage of resources and opportunities, which causes the inability of a person to participate well in social matters. It is a problem that diminishes the dignity of a person. Poverty encompasses the failure of access to basic needs and a decent life. It also entails inaccessibility to better health care and education. Poverty can be absolute or relative. The former involves consistent inaccessibility. The latter, as the name suggests, refers to inequality in income or resources.

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About three billion people in the world live below $2.50. Relative poverty is experienced in 80% of the world’s population. According to research done by the World Bank, there are about 1 billion children that live in poverty-stricken areas and 22,000 of them die each day due to illness, starvation and insecurity.

In 1992, it was noted that the ratio of the wealthy people to that of poor people is 1:72. That ratio is consistently increasing, day and night.

Illustrations of Poverty Globally

Poverty prevalence is very high especially in third world countries. This prevalence is indicated by high levels of unemployment, low levels of income as well as high inflation and tax rates. Informal settlements are some aspects that are usually encountered in poverty-stricken societies. South Africa and Kenya have some of the largest informal settlements in Soweto and Kibera.

Another aspect of poverty is violence and wars. Volatile countries in the Middle East such as Bangladesh are subject to this. Also, poverty-stricken central African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo fall prey to this. West African states like Liberia and Ivory Coast also experience high poverty due to demolition of public property and looting during wars. The economy of the country plunges down during war and therefore facilitating exit of foreign investors. This couples with corruption level surges cause poverty.

Poverty is also characterized by inaccessibility to proper basic education. Researches show that kids from poverty-stricken backgrounds are in most cases underachievers in education. This might be due to their foci in education. Naturally, you can t expect someone to focus on education on an empty stomach or in tattered clothes.

It is rare for poverty-stricken communities to get access to clean water. Most of the informal settlements are congested. Sewerage systems are not well maintained. In some cases, toilets and latrines are not available all together. This therefore predisposes the inhabitant to diseases such as amoebic dysentery, bilharzia, typhoid and cholera.

Pollution of the environment is also highly prevalent in poor states, especially in urban area. This is due to availability of limited housing spaces and therefore no space for a proper dumping site. The ever swelling population in poverty-stricken urban areas also causes the dumping sites to overflow.

Approaches Taken By World Leaders to Resolve Poverty

World leaders, in conjunction with the independent financial institutions such as the World Bank are trying their level best to help reduce poverty.

Non-governmental institutions such as USAID and UKAID have initiated projects that will enable increased food production in third world countries. Farmers are provided with fertilizers and technologically improved equipment to facilitate crop farming. Also, the organizations are helping the local farmers with the technical knowhow on how to improve on productivity.

The World Bank has also allocated funds for poor countries to improve their infrastructure. This is in a bid to woo foreign investors to invest in the economies. This will stimulate economic growth and therefore reduce the unemployment rates. The infrastructure also helps to facilitate trading activities which earn the locals income.

Fund for relief food are being set aside by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP). These funds are meant to ensure that people in hunger-stricken areas do not die of hunger.

Developed countries, through charity initiatives are carrying out researches to see how they can make the arid and semi arid areas viable through irrigation. Also, they are developing crops that mature faster. This will increase food in poor countries.

In education, the developed countries set aside donor funds which help in financing basic education in poor countries. This allows for many children to attain up to high school education, free of charge. Funds are also being allocated to finance to well-performing students in the poor countries through college.

Corrupt leaders in the poor countries who cause economic deterioration are also dealt with at the global level. These leaders are forced out of power and their assets frozen. War prone areas are not left behind. The international community, in conjunction with the leading economies helps in bringing peace back in war tor countries. This has been done in Palestine as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To help reduce overpopulation, young mothers are provided with family planning medication. This is in an effort to reduce the dependency ratio.

If my opinion counts, the foreign governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and institutions as well as the international community are doing a good job in reducing poverty. The effects of these good-will efforts are being felt in poor countries, especially in Africa.

Other Approaches to be considered in Dealing Poverty Eradication

The massive debts of the third world countries should be reduced. Although the independent financial institutions and the developed countries are helping poor countries access to credit facilities, these funds are registered as government debts. In the long run these loans end up affecting the economic growth of the countries since they are charged high interest percents. If there was a way of reducing these loans or reducing the interest rates to very small percentages, it would serve great advantages to the poor countries. The big economies have little to lose if they do that since they are the very parties which derive most from these countries in terms of investment returns. As much as they help the counties grow in terms of infrastructure, they also help them in smooth running of their investments in the less developed countries.

Apart from just allocating funds to help the poor countries in the various sectors of their economy, the international community, developed countries and donors should assume the responsibility of managing the funds. This is to allow proper use and avoid corruption and embezzlement by unscrupulous leaders who characterize moist third world countries’ politics.

A lot can be done on food security. Technological assistance should also be provided to the countries facing food shortages to facilitate food production. Also, highly subsidized fertilizers and farm equipment should be availed to farmers to improve on production. The World Food Program and the countries that have food shortages should also cooperate with farmers to provide technical advice and agricultural technocrats. These experts should be more practical and field oriented in their operations rather than just sitting in the offices. Rural roads and other necessary infrastructure should also be improved to facilitate transport of food produce and farm inputs. There should be establishment of developed storage systems to avoid or reduce perishing of highly perishable products. If the governments are to buy the commodities from the farmers, they should be very considerate in their pricing.

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