Monday, October 24, 2011
October 31, 2011
Poverty Around the World
There are nearly seven billion people living on this Earth. Out of these seven billion, over three billion are living on less than $2.50 a day (Shah). While so many men, women, and children are dying due to lack of food and water, poor health facilities, and inadequate living conditions every day, it makes one wonder what is being done to help these people. What methods are being implemented to improve the lives of the large portion of the population that is living in poverty and how effective are these methods? Something needs to change in order to save the innocent lives living in underdeveloped countries.
Consider your everyday life. When you feel hungry, you can walk into your kitchen and choose from a variety of different foods. When thirsty, you can easily turn the faucet on your sink and drink a glass of water. When you feel sick, there is a doctor nearby who can treat you. People living in extreme poverty lack all of these essentials that people who are not impoverished take for granted.
Populations living in developed countries have the opportunity to choose from an abundance of material goods and food to provide for their needs. Even if they do not have the money to afford the goods, they have a chance to make a living that could eventually afford them because of the resources available to the people. The populations of undeveloped countries do not have the numerous opportunities offered to them; they must work extremely hard to merely keep themselves alive. The standards of living in underdeveloped countries are shockingly lower than the standards in developed countries.
Hunger is one of the most devastating aspects of poverty. According to worldhunger.org, 925 million, or every one out of seven people, are going hungry each and every day. That number is so extremely shocking. By that statistic, three people in an average English class at Ohio University would be suffering from hunger. Of course it doesn’t work like that though. The people who are suffering from hunger are all from impoverished and underdeveloped nations. The following video demonstrates the reality of hunger all over the world:
The images shown are of children who have been ravished by hunger. They have wasted away to almost nothing. While so many people in countries in Northern North America and Europe are working toward losing weight and eating food that is better for them, people in the countries shown at the beginning of the video are struggling to obtain enough food to even stay alive. And what is most upsetting about this? “The world produces enough food to feed everyone,” (worldhunger.org). This is extremely frustrating. The world has the resources to support all of its inhabitants yet so many people go without. According to worldhunger.org, there is an abundance of food in some countries and a depletion of food in other countries because in a lot of impoverished countries there is poor soil or growing conditions available to them. To offset this, it would make sense for the countries with an abundance of food to support those countries in need. Greed and power, in my opinion, keep this from happening.
There are countless organizations all over the world that focus on breaking the poverty chain. For example, there is a “food for work” program described in “Hunger and World Poverty”, “…the adults are paid with food to build schools, dig wells, make roads, and so on.” This method has two main benefits: it distributes food to impoverished people and creates establishments and resources that help to improve the underdeveloped country. Receiving food as payment feeds the individual and their family in an extremely simple way. It removes the process of obtaining food. People who live far away from markets must pay for transportation to and from the market, thus wasting money that could be spent on food. The actual work that these people are doing is extremely beneficial to the community in which they live in. By building wells they are providing water for everyone. By building roads they are increasing the revenue brought into the community by giving people outside of they community the opportunity to come and purchase items from local markets. Building schools allows children to get an education and eventually have higher paying jobs. Programs like this also offer children the opportunity to receive food in exchange for attending school. This helps to feed starving children while ensuring that they are getting the education that they need.
Another group of people that are working toward ending poverty are the faculty and the students at EARTH University. As described in the blog, “Semester at Sea Maymester: Costa Rica”, the students at this university are discovering ways in which they can grow food in the worst agricultural settings, like hot and humid places where the ground is hard and rain is rare. Creating sustainable gardens, whether in the ground, hanging, or in pots that can be moved inside and outside, and then teaching the people of underdeveloped countries how to accomplish this themselves is the goal of EARTH University. As well as feeding themselves, teaching people how to grow their own food has a variety of benefits, “Local foods help grow the local economy by providing extra income and saving money for families,” (Semester at Sea Maymester: Costa Rica). Having food ready for you in your backyard saves money in purchasing food and also reduces the reliance on transportation to visit a market, thus, saving even more money.
Posted by Michaela Dempsey at 9:25 AM