In today’s world poverty is a huge issue that most people experience during their lives. Imagine searching through heaping piles of refuse at landfills, looking for anything that could seem partly edible, to satisfy an unending hunger. Many people around the world are facing this situation every day of their lives. What could have caused a situation like this to occur? Poverty in general means the condition where people’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met. This can occur to an individual or a whole country.
It is estimated that more than 35 million, Americans approximately 14 percent of the population, live in poverty. Some poverty examples would be people living on the street, people who can’t afford to go to the doctor or school, and people living in cars after losing their jobs. Poverty is caused by a wide variety of factors. There are two types of factors which are acute and entrenched. Acute factors are war, natural disasters, and disease. Entrenched factors are lack of education, corruption, and overpopulation. War is an acute factor and has a major role in causing poverty.
During war, people usually think only the lives of the young men and women who are fighting the war are lost, but have you ever thought of the people who have lost their lives, their family, their dreams, their necessities, and their money because of war? When there is war, the only thing the government worries about is maintaining the military, so instead of fighting poverty they are more concentrated in fighting a war. The war in Ethiopia and Eritrea occurred during 1999 and 2000 and it was a period when both countries faced severe food shortage due to drought.
During this time the government was focusing on the war instead of preventing poverty. They funded the war instead of providing food for the suffering people. War is also expensive and costly to maintain for long periods of time. During a war, the government spends a lot of money on weapons, uniforms, food, manpower, and many other things. Many countries are facing this situation where the government spends most of the money on the war instead of spending money on the citizens or other important programs. Sometimes these countries are at war for a long time.
For example, Afghanistan was at war for 37 years. The Afghanistan government spent all of their money and resources on the war instead of establishing their country. Many people in Afghanistan were starving for food. Schools were destroyed when fighting the Talibans and the terrorists. The result of this caused many people to be illiterate. Many people took the wrong path because they couldn’t feed their family and themselves. Ultimately, war is one of the great causes of poverty, and without war the poverty level can possibly be reduced. Natural disaster is another acute factor that can cause poverty.
Natural disasters also have a huge impact with the cause of poverty. When disasters strike, poor people often lose their assets on which their survival depends. Things such as hurricanes and earthquakes have caused millions of dollars worth of infrastructure and the loss of lives. Usually developing countries suffer the most with facing natural disaster. During this situation limited resources become an obstacle for the construction quantity of housing and infrastructure for responding to crises. Over 90 percent of death caused by natural disaster occurred in the poor countries.
It can also cause death in a richer country. Natural disaster also affects the natural environment, including the atmosphere, bodies of water, soil, and forests. They are very important causes of poverty. Environmental problems have led to shortages of food, clean water, materials for shelter, and other essential resources. As forests, land, air, and water are degraded; people who live off these natural resources suffer most from the effects. Many poor people’s livelihoods depend on agriculture but a drought or flood can destroy a year’s income.
For example Hurricane Katrina was a devastating hurricane that hit the Gulf of Mexico and various Southern regions of the United States at the end of August, 2005. It caused some of the worst damage in the United States’ history, estimated at $100 billion. Many people lost their homes, had no food, and no support. On the other hand, People in developed countries have technologies and conveniences such as air and water filters, refined fuels, and industrially produced and stored foods to help themselves from the effects of environmental degradation. Lack of education is one entrenched factor that can cause poverty.
Education can make or break an income. It plays a vital role in acquiring jobs, learning new skills, and bringing home necessities and comforts of life. If a person doesn’t receive an education, he/she has a very small chance of bringing home a desirable income. So it would be very hard to lift them and their families out of poverty. According to the world-wide-survey, the United States average income with a high school education is about $40,000, while dropouts can expect to receive $24,000 per year–$16,000 less. People who do not have an education can also bring their family into a cycle of poverty.
A country that would be a great example of this would be Afghanistan. When the Taliban invaded Afghanistan, they banned education for women and also the women couldn’t teach education to others. In 1996 the Taliban were controlling and restricted education for females, and the mosque school became the main source of primary school. About 1. 2 million students were enrolled in schools during the Taliban, with less than 50,000 of them girls. They reduced education for overall people. This caused many people to go into poverty because these people who did not have an education could not get a better paying job.
Education is essential for people to have because they can avoid many struggles and the major struggle would be poverty. Corruption is the second entrenched factor that can cause poverty. Corruption inhibits development when leaders help themselves to money that would otherwise be used for development projects. Corruption in government can cause a heavy cost on society. Corruption is both a major cause and a result of poverty around the world. It occurs at all levels of society, from local and national governments. Corruption affects the poorest the most, whether in rich or poor nations.
Net money of people is stolen. People lose trust in a system and this causes very bad impact. Investment in such a system is reduced, thus generation of job is also reduced. All these things cause poverty. Corruption is a very big part of the reason why Europe is currently facing huge economic problems. An example of European countries would be Italy and Greece that are facing corruption. These two countries are finding it difficult to borrow money and they have a very low credit rate. The reason is that high levels of corruption lead to low credit ratings.
Corruption can also lead to a lack of tax revenue. In Greece, it’s common to pay black money to public employees. People cheat on their taxes because People don’t want to pay black money while also paying taxes. It makes difficult for Greece to get revenue through tax. Lastly overpopulation is also an entrenched factor that can cause poverty. Overpopulation is defined as the situation of having large numbers of people with too few resources and too little space. Overpopulation can result from either a high population density or from low amounts of resources.
A high population density pressures the available resources in the country because the resources can only support a certain number of people. There are many countries facing poverty because the country is overpopulated. The recourses get limited so it doesn’t meet the demand of all people like people getting jobs. Another country that is facing overpopulation is India. According to doctor Gupta, around 53 percent of the below 5 years Indian population is malnourished and 37 percent had no access to safe drinking water. In Mumbai, about 15 million people are compelled to live at the sidewalks of the streets.
As we all know poverty is a curse. There are many factors that bring someone to poverty. There are some factors that can causes into poverty immediately anfd there other factors that slowly causes poverty. Poverty is a serious issue because almost half of the world’s population is suffering from this endless cycle of death. In some situation people can help themselves and step up.