Poverty and Wealth We live in an unequal world.
Global Patterns of Poverty and Wealth WATCH THE TEAR FUND VIDEO ON POVERTY (9 MIN) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLwL5-rsNWw&feature=relmfu (3 MIN) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL-8HPdBroc Difference between developed and developing countries. Australia, along with countries such as the United States, France and Japan, is a developed country. This means that the country provides satisfactory living conditions and opportunities for the majority of its people to enjoy high levels of education, health and health care. Developing countries, such as Malawi, Indonesia and India, do not currently provide these benefits for most of their people. • We live in an unequal world. About 20 per cent of the world's population uses 80 per cent of the world's resources. The remaining 20 per cent of the world's resources are shared between 80 per cent of the world's population. • The living conditions of people around the world vary enormously. About 1.1 billion of the world's 6.7 billion people live in extreme poverty. This means they survive on less than US$1 a day. Nearly half of the world's population lives on less than $US2 a day. Hundreds of millions of people do not have enough food. Even more do not have safe drinking water. In some countries, more than 80 per cent of adults are unable to read and write. The opportunities of many millions of people are extremely limited.
The difference…… What is Poverty? What is Wealth? How would you define wealth? Is it having money in the bank? Is it having many possessions? Is it having a high income? All these are often seen as part of the private wealth of individuals. Some countries are also much wealthier than others. In wealthy countries, the majority of people have a higher standard of living and they benefit from what is called public wealth. Public wealth includes infrastructure, such as good roads, public transport, schools and hospitals and a range of entertainment and recreational facilities. How do you compare the wealth of countries? As mentioned above, it is often measured using GDP: the total value of the goods and services produced in a country each year. When this statistic is divided by the population of a country you calculate the country’s GDP per person, or per capita. This measure has been used to determine the list of the world’s ten richest countries. How would you define poverty? Is it the opposite of wealth? Is it just a lack of money, having few possessions or having a low-paying job? Or is it more complex than this? Is it having no prospect or hope of these, and having no chance of ever getting a permanent job? GDP can also be used to rank the world’s poorest countries, but as with wealth, this gives you only part of the picture. Before you can make a judgement about the overall level of a country’s development you need more information about the way that people in that country live. Poverty is often defined as either relative or absolute poverty. Absolute poverty is coping without the resources (food, clothing and shelter) necessary for life. People living in absolute poverty are barely surviving. Relative poverty, on the other hand, is the situation in which some people are poorer than others in the community but still have access to adequate food, clothing and shelter.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCTData such as GDP can be mapped to show comparisons between countries. The map at below uses GDP per capita data to illustrate the pattern of global poverty and wealth in 2008. The map uses darker and lighter shades of the same colour group to show a pattern. The darker shades represent ‘the most’ and the lighter shades represent ‘the least’. This map enables the user to easily see global patterns of poverty and wealth.
Comparison of Countries World’s Richest Countries in 2008 World’s Poorest Countries in 2008
Facts about basic necessities. In the year 2008, the world’s population reached 6.7 billion, of whom: •5.5 billion lived in developing countries •1.3 billion lived on less than US$1 per day •3 billion lived on less that US$3 a day •2 billion had no access to electricity •1 billion had no access to clean water •3 billion had no access to sanitation •1 billion were undernourished •almost 1 billion were unable to read or write. We live in an unequal world……. The livestock in rich countries get more money than poor people in developing countries. In Japan, farmers receive a subsidy of US$2555 a year for each cow they own. In the United States the figure is US$660. Meanwhile, 81.9 per cent of Ethiopians survive on less than US$1 a day. In Uganda, the figure is 82.2 per cent. In Zambia, it is 63.7 per cent. DID YOU KNOW?
THE PRICE OF WAR….is it worth it? US IN IRAQ and MEETING the needs of the poor. • The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 is reported to have cost the Americans US $602 293 million by early 2009 (equal to $4681 for every American household). What could this amount of money achieve if it was used to address the needs of the world’s poor? In the next table you can see what could be achieved with just less than one-sixth of this amount (less than US$100 000 million).
Comparing the rich and poor world FOOD HEALTH CARE Access to health facilities is a sign of a wealthy country. Educating doctors and building hospitals is very expensive. In developed countries, governments spend a lot of money building and staffing health facilities, and buying the latest high-tech medical equipment and drugs. In developing countries this money is not always available. As a result, there are fewer doctors and hospital beds and a shortage of medical equipment and medicines. In addition to lack of medical resources, many developing countries do not have enough money available to provide safe drinking water and the resources needed to stop disease from spreading. This means that life is more hazardous, and the danger of becoming seriously ill is higher. • Having enough to eat is the most basic of all human needs. This can be measured by calculating the kilojoules consumed per person each day. When this is compared with the amount of food that is considered necessary for a basic diet, the differences between rich and poor countries become clear. The average American consumes 16 329 kilojoules per day, while the average Ethiopian makes do with just 6950 kilojoules per day. The number of kilojoules considered necessary for a healthy lifestyle is 9630 per day. • Just measuring the amount of food is not enough. The quality of the food must be considered. A diet that does not include a balance of fresh produce does not promote good health. Many people in the developing world survive on a diet featuring a limited range of foods, many of which are low in nutritional value.
Rich world/poor world continued. EDUCATION SHELTER Rapid rates of urbanisationand poverty have made it almost impossible for developing countries to meet the housing needs of their growing urban populations. As a result, many of the urban poor have been forced to find shelter in squatter settlements. Squatter settlements are roughly built dwellings located on unused land in the cities of developing countries. Slums are permanent dwellings that are in a very poor state of repair. The size of the problem is staggering. Forty per cent of the population of Karachi, Pakistan, live in slum and squatter settlements. In Manila, the capital of the Philippines, the figure is 32 per cent. In Mexico City, it is over 50 per cent. In Cairo, the capital of Egypt, more than 1 million people live in the city’s cemeteries. In Lima, Peru, around half the city’s population lives in inner-city slums, and another quarter in squatter settlements. Around half a million people live and sleep on the streets of Calcutta. • Most of us have been reading and writing since we were six years old. If we were growing up in a poor country, you might never have learnt those important skills. You probably also hope to get a good job as a result of your education. In the poorest countries this would be impossible. It is likely that you would have completed all of your schooling by now—if you were ever able to attend school at all. • The difference between education levels in countries is shown in the percentage of people who are illiterate (unable to read and write). It is also shown in the percentage of people who reach Year 12 or go to university. Education opportunities only become available if governments have enough money to spend on schools.
And even more……. WATER RESEARCH IT! The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)The MDGs are eight international development goals that the 192 member states of the United Nations and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They are: 1 eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2 achieve universal primary education 3 promote gender equality and empower women 4 reduce child mortality 5 improve maternal health 6 combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7 ensure environmental sustainability 8 develop a global partnership for development. Each of the goals has its own set of targets. Data is collected and reports are published showing the progress being achieved.Information about the progress being made is available on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals website. Using the website, identify the UN’s targets in each of the development issues addressed in this unit. Investigate and describe the progress being made on each of the Millennium Goals using the ‘Fact Sheets’ available on the site.http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ • During the lesson in which you read this material, 160 children will have died because they didn’t have access to clean water or sanitation facilities. On just this one day, 9300 people (equal to 3.4 million a year) will have died from diarrhoea, cholera or another disease spread by contaminated water or poor personal hygiene resulting from water shortages. Most of these people will have lived in Asia and Africa, and most will have been under the age of five.