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Causes Of Poverty In The Developing World

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The causes of poverty in the developing world

Many LDC’s have been badly affected by wars. There have been many civil wars in Africa caused by European empire-building in the nineteenth century. Several African races were joined into one country but half a race was left in another country. These countries were still artificial countries after they achieved independence. One race was often badly treated by the ruling race which resulted in civil war. This also happened in Europe since the various parts of Yugoslavia were given independence. LDC’s also suffer from wars between different countries such as: Ethiopia and Somalia Afghanistan and Russia. There are wars caused by corruption and political differences too for example: Mozambique Angola Guatemala.

Wars destroy crops homes schools and hospitals causing even more poverty. Many people are also forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in safer countries. These neighbouring countries some of which were developing will be made poor again by the sudden influx of refugees with out money or food.

Many LDC’s are located in areas of the World where natural disasters occur frequently and very severely. These natural disasters are earthquakes floods droughts and volcanic eruptions. Thousands of homes and acres of precious farmland can be destroyed by an earthquake or a flood. If there is no rain the crops will not grow unless the farmers have the wealth to sink wells install pumps and organise an irrigation system.

Most LDC’s are forced to borrow money from the banks of developed countries to survive and begin to develop. These banks charge interest so that a less developed country has to pay more in interest than it earns in foreign currency. In the early 70’s Chile borrowed 3.9 billion dollars. By 1982 Chile had paid 12.8 billion dollars in interest and still owed money.

The extra 9 billion dollars should have been used to speed up Chile’s development but instead it went to countries that are already rich.

The only way for many LDC’s to make enough money for their debts is to grow cash crops. Cash crops are grown to be sold rather than consumption. Cotton Coffee tea and tobacco are grown to sell to the developed world. Many people in LDC’s are starving because land is used to grown cash crops instead of food.

World poverty concerns us all as we depend on each other. For example if we want the Sudanese to grow cotton for our clothes we must make sure they have enough food to survive on.

The causes of poverty in the modern world

Here are three new and worrying causes of poverty:

 The World markets work in favour of the rich and powerful. Therefore the profits are not shared equally. This causes homelessness and unemployment in rich countries and the poor countries can not develop their economies properly and they are kept in poverty

 Since the Second World War the world has been divided into two “sections” with capitalist countries on one hand and communist on the other. This has led to four things:

 The attention of world leaders has been focussed on the Cold War instead of the problem of world poverty

 Large amounts of money have been spent on weapons which could have been used to relieve poverty

 The rich countries have given aid to the poor countries just to get them on their side in the Cold War and not to help them (they did this by supplying them with weapons)

 When wars have happened there has been an increase in the number of refugees which adds to all the other problems. War has caused famine too.

 There have been problems with the increase and decrease of population. Sometimes the methods to deal with these have been brutal and wrong. They have taken away people’s rights and forced people to use methods of birth control which the Church can not accept.

Other factors contributing to world poverty

These other factors contribute to world poverty: lack of education low life expectancy leading to a large number of children relying on one export whose value may decrease in the world market changing a country from rich to poor almost overnight.

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