The Poverty Blog

A history of poverty

About the blog

This blog is an addition to the website. It'll keep you updated on new content and exclusive blog posts about poverty.

Nov 28, 2013

Women in Poverty – The Key to Ending Poverty ?

The feminization of poverty – i.e. the growing number of women in poverty – is a huge issue that includes millions of missing women & violence against them

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Nov 28, 2013

Family Poverty - The Hidden Disaster

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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Nov 20, 2013

Child Labor in the Bidi Industry

Bidi is a leaf-rolled cigar made of coarse tobacco prepared for smoking. Bidi industry is one of the foremost cottage industries in India. India ranks

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Aug 17, 2013

Rural Poverty in Cambodia – Life After the Khmer Rouge

Following the end of the communist Khmer Rouge regime and its massacres, the country is now slowly recovering and fighting extreme poverty in Cambodia

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Aug 16, 2013

Poverty in Bangladesh – Innovations Against Exploitation

Fighting an entire social system to tackle poverty in Bangladesh proves harder than thought. But innovations from within the country may change the game

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May 17, 2013

Poverty in China: Inequalities, Migrant Workers & Education

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

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Jan 10, 2013

Top Online Documentaries & Films about Poverty and Politics

Best online documentaries & independent documentary films about politics, refugees, poverty, disasters, global warming and the challenges our society faces

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Dec 27, 2012

Education in China - Why Poverty

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.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Dec 27, 2012

Child Labor in South Africa, Sex Trafficking & Discrimination

Child labor in South Africa is fueled by unemployment & discrimination that affects the black population. Extreme poverty causes extreme ways to survive

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Dec 17, 2012

Park Avenue - Money, Power & The American Dream

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".

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Here below is a link to the causes of poverty in the United States:

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Dec 17, 2012

Child Labor in India - Causes & Consequences

The causes & effects of child labor in India are intimately tied with extreme poverty and the failure to achieve universal education and develop schools

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Dec 04, 2012

An Animated History of Poverty - Why Poverty

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:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Nov 25, 2012

Rich vs Poor: Promoting Mutual Understanding

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

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Nov 13, 2012

Child Labor in China, Factories & Child Trafficking

Child labor in China was largely tackled by decades of economic development, but new challenges arise with the issues of child trafficking and factories

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Nov 02, 2012

Africa's Rise: The Numbers and Statistics

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”.

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