Poverty is a horrible state. Unfortunately, it’s a reality in our world. No one desires to be poor. In many parts of the world, people refer to poverty as a curse. In fact, an old man in a village once exclaimed ‘‘poverty is a terrible disease!’’
Complex man-made metrics and criteria for measuring poverty classify all nations from the richest to the poorest. Hence, the use of terms such as first, second and third world countries or economies. The first world refers to countries with greater economic potentials and military power such as the United States, China, Russia and many European countries.
Countries in the second world have medium-size economies and military power. These include some countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Third world countries (also called underdeveloped, developing or emerging countries) have little economic and military power.
Nevertheless, these politically motivated classifications are not necessarily true.
Poverty is noticeable in a community when people die from lack of common basic necessities such as medical assistance, food, clean water and sanitation. Poverty is also facilitated by human and natural factors such as lack of proper education and required human and material resources, social inequalities, corruption, conflicts, natural disasters and climate change.
Below are two effective ways to fight poverty in your community:
Identify The Root Causes Of Problems In Your Community
Countries and communities are different. The variables responsible for poverty vary from one community or country to another. It is the responsibility of each community to confront poverty with respect to its context.
There’re many schemes in the world which attempt to fight poverty. Good examples are the United Nations and its member aid agencies, diverse national, multi-national and non-governmental humanitarian organizations and relief associations.
Despite the existence of thousands of such organizations in many poor communities of the world, poverty keeps spreading its tentacles. This little progress in poverty reduction is mainly because most human solutions respond to the effects and symptoms of poverty rather than its root causes in those communities.
For instance, many countries termed ‘third world nations’ have fertile soils, human labour, huge market potentials and many minerals and raw materials. The existence of poverty in these countries is not because they’re truly poor. Rather, there’s lack of entrepreneurial and political will to promote expertise in the transformation of raw materials locally to conquer local and international markets. As a result, raw materials are sold at very cheap prices (usually fixed by multinational entrepreneurs) who produce finished goods that are sold back to those communities at very high prices.
If your community is poor, your first step is to identify the root causes. If you neglect what fuels poverty, you’ll certainly deal only with its symptoms and effects. You can’t effectively handle poverty that way.
Address Those Root Causes
Let’s be sincere. It’s impossible to make this world a problem-free place. There’ll always be problems and as a consequence, poverty can never completely be eradicated. Realistically, poverty can be reduced significantly in a community or country.
Effective poverty reduction depends on how you confront your problems. Moreover, to effectively and efficiently solve your problems, you must, first of all, identify their root causes and focus on them as earlier mentioned. This is where many human schemes that attempt to reduce poverty fail considerably.
For instance, the DRC is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources. However, the economy of this country is completely paralyzed by rebel groups and wars. The UN and most NGOs and aid organizations in the world are present in this country. Billions of dollars are spent every year to sponsor development schemes and relief operations but the situation keeps worsening from year to year.
Of course, very little can be achieved from such aid mechanisms because they don’t deal with the root causes of poverty in those countries. They constantly address the symptoms. Moreover, the humanitarian aid community is seriously affected by bad will.
For instance, many nations that support the DRC with humanitarian aid are the same to sponsor rebel fractions in the country. On the one hand, they present humanitarian aid to few communities. On the other hand, they sell weapons and empower rebel groups in exchange for mineral resources. This hypocrisy has been going on and on for many decades.
To effectively reduce poverty in this particular case, the people of the DRC must be allowed to decide their own future. Those who sell guns and sponsor rebels must stop. Those who leave their own countries to destabilize the DRC must stop. Those who produce weapons used in the DRC to promote wars must stop. Those who steal primary resources in the DRC must stop. Those who promote corruption, tribalism and inequalities in the country must stop, etc. Moreover, the people of the DRC must stand up as one people to resist the oppression from so-called superpower nations.
If these important root causes are neglected, any poverty reduction scheme in the country is nothing but a myth.
As a conclusion, poverty can be reduced considerably in a community if the community members approach their problems appropriately. They must begin by identifying the actual root causes of poverty and address them. Only then can poverty’s sting be weakened significantly.
Is your community rich or poor?
What role are you playing in your community?
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The poverty section of the Global Issues web site looks into causes of poverty around the world. Why are poor nations poor? What are the roles of the IMF and World …