This blog is an addition to the Poverties.org website. It'll keep you updated on new content and exclusive blog posts about poverty.
The government has been fighting poverty in China for decades but inequalities are on the rise alongside the issues of migrant workers & access to education
Best online documentaries & independent documentary films about politics, refugees, poverty, disasters, global warming and the challenges our society faces
This week another documentary, this time on poverty and education in China. It's entitled "China's Ant People" and examines the growing contradictions within the Chinese economy: the obsession with diplomas and yet the ever fewer jobs for graduates, the scams that result of this and how people make do with the situation.
Child labor in South Africa is fueled by unemployment & discrimination that affects the black population. Extreme poverty causes extreme ways to survive
Continuing on the series of documentaries entitled "Why Poverty", here's the one on inequalities and the causes of poverty in the US : "Park Avenue - Money, Power & The American Dream".
Here below is a link to the causes of poverty in the United States:
The causes & effects of child labor in India are intimately tied with extreme poverty and the failure to achieve universal education and develop schools
These days, there's been a whole series of documentaries broadcasted around the world on major TV networks called "Why Poverty".
Today, let's look at the documentary named "An Animated History of Poverty", available on YouTube in 4 parts:
I live in a big colony, and the building has 30 floors. There's a beautiful sea view from my house, 15th floor. But between my building and the highway
Child labor in China was largely tackled by decades of economic development, but new challenges arise with the issues of child trafficking and factories
Improved conditions of life, ever growing communications networks, multiplication of trade exchanges and new infrastructure projects. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the big and small African revolutions in the making that mark the rise of a continent.
Rise in projects
These projects (some of which are currently being built) include:
- Gas and oil production sites in Angola (Kizomba), Egypt (East Ras Qattara), Mozambique (Mamba Sud), Algeria (Rhourde Yacoub) and Ghana (Jubilee oil field);
- New airports are being built – or expanded – in Guinea, Senegal, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Tunisia and Ethiopia;
- High speed railways are about to connect African towns for the first time in South Africa, Morocco and other normal railways are connecting different countries such as Niger & Burkina, Kenya & Uganda as well as Tanzania & Burundi;
- A growing number of mines and dams for electricity in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
All this definitely has the smell (or perfume) of the early rise of Africa and is quite exciting. But how are the social statistics performing against these big projects? Are they improving as well?
The demographic challenge
Africa is still the youngest continent in the world, with a population that is on average 20 years old, against 37 in the US and 40 in Europe. This represents most of all a huge challenge when it comes to educating so many people for most countries.
Behind these statistics though, you can see that certain countries in particular are skewing the data for Africa: Uganda, Niger, Mali, Chad and Burundi for instance have populations who are on average 15-17 years old. Blame this on conflicts and diseases…
Public health & the middle class
In other good news, child mortality rates have decreased by 30% in 20 years, although there is still 1 in 8 children who dies before the age of 5 (against 1 in 143 in developed countries). People also live almost 20 years longer than they used to in the 1950s, but the average life expectancy at birth is still 20 years less than that in the developed world: only 54 years old.
Finally, even though it seems that there’s been a huge growth in the middle class in Africa (200% growth), in fact if you don’t count the people who live just above the poverty line with $2-4 a day, then the growth has been very limited. Worse, if you compare it to the percentage of the overall population (which has increased), then there has been no growth of the middle class at all in the past 30 years.
This is just to say – once more – that you should always look behind the numbers and statistics to really understand what’s going on. Even if, overall there’s no doubt that Africa is on a good path to development. Fingers crossed.
If you want to find out more about issues surrounding Africa's rise, click on the following link to our page on “Africa Facts”.
Find out about the causes and consequences of the famine in North Korea on the population and how poverty can be alleviated in this isolated country.
This article is a conversation between Mike, who disagrees with the association of poverty and crime, and Poverties.org. Mike - from the US - argues that
At the beginning of the 1960s, one in two children died before the age of 5 in Africa. Today, it's "only" 1 in 8 that dies before turning 5.
But the good news must be put into perspective. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the part of the world plagued by the highest child mortality rates: over 120 children in 1000 die before reaching the age of 5 (against 7 in 1000 in developed countries).
However, a joint report from UNICEF, the WHO (World Health Organization) and the World Bank highlights how the situation has significantly improved. High child mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa has been drastically reduced in the past 20 years - except in Somalia, Zimbabwe and Cameroon. Better yet, four countries (Madagascar, Liberia, Malawi and Eritrea) are about to meet the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). This program, set by the UN in 2000, has set a whole range of targets to wipe out poverty in the world by 2015. No need to say, it hasn't been a success... except in these 4 countries!
A key target in this plan consists in slashing child mortality by two thirds (over 60%). As we're now 3 years away from the deadline, it became obvious that we're not going to make it. But the overall downward trend in child mortality is very encouraging.
How did that happen? Improved hygiene and access to healthcare:
- Better access to drinking water (no more water-related nasty diseases)
- Better conditions for childbirth and preparation for delivery
- Vaccines against measles
- Treatments preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child
Another life-saving factor: the systematic distribution of mosquito nets soaked in mosquito repellent, which have protected young children from malaria. For decades, the disease was indeed the first cause of child death in Africa.
According to the WHO, the number of households equipped with these mosquito nets climbed from 3% in 2000 up to 50% in 2011. In Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal, the child mortality rate has fallen by a steady 10% per year since these nets were introduced.
Malaria has now become the 3rd biggest cause of death in children under 5, after diarrhoea and lung diseases. In short, mosquito nets have saved the lives of 730,000 children in 10 years. How much is this piece of “cloth”? About six dollars (or four euros), all financed by African states and international aid.
This proves that investing in child health is money well spent, declared the WHO. It’s a sign we must accelerate the investment in the years to come.
To read more about diseases in Africa, follow the link below:
Poverty in Latin America has got worse with globalization. Inequalities have increased everywhere and caused social programs to flourish as a response
Understanding family poverty can give you the keys to better understand child poverty, the challenges women face every day and how governments can help
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