Poverty as a Global Issue

Povertyas a Global Issue

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Theword poverty is familiar to every person living under the sun.Everyone understands the meaning. However, the specific meaningattached to that word is dependent on the concepts of poverty thatare present in the mind. Poverty can be conceptualized in manydistinct ways. Each way leads to a marked out understanding of thesignificance of the term. The simplest definition states that,poverty is a lack of the basic means of survival. Poor people are notable to put food on the table and they face death as a consequence.Many studies suggest that the definition of poverty as absolute lackis of relevance in regions where the income is low. In other regions,the living standards could be higher. Such countries experienceapparent reductions and rapid growth. The definition of poverty insuch regions is subject to change.

Globally,more than 3 billion people use less than 2.5 USD in a day, whileapproximately 1.3 billion use 1.25 USD or less. In a nut shell, morethan a half of the world’s population is living in poverty.According to UNICEF, 1 billion children in the whole world are livingin poverty and 22,000 children die on a daily basis as a result ofpoverty. More than 800 million people worldwide are lacking food.Some other 750 million people lack access to drinking water. The lackof clean water often leads to diarrhea which kills some 842000 peopleglobally. The figure can also be translated to 2300 people in a day.165 children below the age of 5 years were stunted in year 2011.According to W.H.O the hunger experienced by many has trapped them inimmense poverty. The main cause of death in the world is hunger.Hunger devours more people than a combination malaria, HIV/AIDS, aswell as tuberculosis. The stated facts are a clear proof of theextent of how poverty has become so widespread (Dosomething.org,.2015).

Lookingat poverty from a global perspective

Povertyis being recognized as more than the simply a lack of basic needs.Poverty can manifest itself through the lack of material possessionand the end result is poor mental and physical health. As well asrestricted economic mobility. Poverty has the potential of reducingeconomic productivity and it risks the improvements in socialhealth[ CITATION Dix02 l 1033 ].Moreover, it is one of the causes of politicalunrest and social division. Much attention is being focused on thesocial dimension of poverty. Economic hardships may cause a sense ofshame. Poor people suffer from social shame and they are stigmatized.Psychologists consider shame to be the worst emotion because itcreates a feeling of powerlessness. Poor people feel useless andincompetent. The shame is not similar to guilt since it is not thedoing of the individuals. Shame is a social emotion. It containsstructural and individualistic components. The feeling can occur as areaction to the looming failure in matching the societalexpectations. In turn, the feeling can become internalized as anaspiration. It is evident that shame is experienced as a consequenceof poverty across different cultures. In Britain, poor people arestigmatized. The word poverty itself expresses a state of a personwho is shunned. People living in abstract poverty can describe theireveryday ordeals as full of drudgery and struggle. In North America,and Europe, success is judged in the terms of financial gain andpoverty is termed as a personal failure.

Womenare not in risk of poverty alone. However, they may often findthemselves in certain settings that may expose them topoverty-related shame. The cause might be domestic budgeting, childrearing or a lack of hygiene[ CITATION Swe02 l 1033 ].Men may also discover that poverty minimizes their ability to meetthe norms of manhood. Poorpeople from any country usually speak of frustrations of not beingable to achieve the material aspirations. They also face the task ofmaking hard decisions amid competing demands. For parents, it is hardto escape the shame that is accompanied with failing to provide forthe children. Employed people usually compare themselves with thosewho are not employed. The end result is increased envy and shame.Sometimes, the feelings of shame can prove to be fatal. Some peoplego ahead and kill themselves just because they feel unfit to live.Shame leads to anger and frustration and sometimes depression.

Rolesof developed and developing countries in contending with poverty

Bothdeveloping and developed countries play a crucial role in the fightagainst poverty. Developing countries are dependent on the globaleconomic growth in order to achieve the goal of eradicating poverty.International trade has been recognized as a very powerful tool ofalleviating poverty. Trade can do away with extreme hunger andpoverty (Unchronicle.un.org,. 2015). This can be achieved by cuttingthe proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day. Apartnership between countries can address the needs of developedcountries through the reduction of trade barriers, increasingdevelopment assistance and improving debt relief. Poverty has beenmarked as the most debilitating plague of all times. It is evidentthat in order to cut the number of people living in poverty,developing countries should speed up their economic growth by leavingthe doors to their market open. Trade leads to improvement inefficiency in the allocation of resources. Furthermore, it enhancesthe economic welfare and is a major contributor to the long-termeconomic growth. Liberalizing economies can face some costs in termsof short term adjustments. This is because, when economies open up,the imports of a specific country make use of the existing channels.At the same time, new opportunities for export come up from thedifferent sectors. This in turn leads to the development of theproduction capacity.

Inthe past few years, trade has set strong growth and development inlow income countries. The exports of such countries have been growingconsistently at an even faster rate than in developed countries.Therefore, growth in export revenues of the developing countries hasbeen stimulated. The fascinating growth in in the exports from thedeveloping countries has been the result of a steady reduction intariffs globally. Such tariffs have been acting as trade barriersbefore. However, evidence shows that developing countries are facingvery high tariffs and barriers on their export products. Developedcountries go ahead to impose tariffs on imports from the developingcountries. The tariffs are at times twice as high as those fromdeveloped countries. Mauritius has one of the most open economies inAfrica is Mauritius. Its exports have been sustained by policies thatallow the country to easily adapt to competition. Liberalization oftrade can have different effects on poverty. This depends on factorslike economic stability and the financial sector[ CITATION McC01 l 1033 ].Developing countries are supposed to develop their supply capacity inorder to open up to competition. As a way of minimizing unemployment,developing countries need to create social safety nets. Workersshould be reallocatedto the growing sectors. Training policies, education and unemploymentbenefits programs should be put in place. A reduction in socialspending can reduce the unemployment rates. Trade is an essentialweapon that can be used to combat poverty as well as speeding upeconomic growth.


Generally,more than half of the world’s population is living in poverty. Manypeople cannot access the basic necessities of life. Children aredying of hunger and pestilences. Poor people fail to get access toclean water. Many are unable to put food on the table or to findstandard housing for their families. The global perspective ofpoverty is a negative one. No one likes to be poor. People areashamed of poverty. Poor people tend to hate themselves. Some get sofrustrated to an extent of taking their own lives. The challenge athand is to find the best way of curbing poverty. Both developing andtheir developed counterparts play a role in the fight againstpoverty. Developed countries should assist their developingcounterparts grow their economies. This can be achieved throughtrade. Developing countries should be allowed to export theirproducts at low tariffs. Developed countries should aid theirdeveloping counterparts by relieving debt and investing. If suchsuggestions were to be applied, then poverty can be eradicatedforever.


Dixon, J., &amp Macarov, D. (2002). Poverty: A Persistent Global Reality. London: Routledge.

Dosomething.org,. (2015). 11 Facts About Global Poverty | DoSomething.org | America`s largest organization for youth volunteering opportunities, with 2,700,000 members and counting. Retrieved 31 March 2015, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty

McCulloch, N., Winters, L. A., &amp Cirera, X. (2001). Trade Liberalization and Poverty. Washington DC: Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Sweetman, C. (2002). Gender, Development, and Poverty. Oxford: Oxfam.

Unchronicle.un.org,. (2015). Trade and the MDGs: How Trade Can Help Developing Countries Eradicate Poverty. Retrieved 31 March 2015, from http://unchronicle.un.org/article/trade-and-mdgs-how-trade-can-help-developing-countries-eradicate-poverty/