Thursday, January 26, 2012

War leaves Poverty in its Wake

Afghans are met by both poverty and the freezing cold of winter after over a decade since the start of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

In the center of a city into which wealth has poured in the last decade, these people have been left behind. And while America's spending over $100 billion a year on this war, these Afghans say life has never been so bad.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

UN Calls for End to Energy Poverty

The UN Secretary-General called for an end to energy poverty this past week, asking for a "global action to achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030."  There are two concepts I like to focus on when thinking about ending poverty - attaining true sustainable energy, and eliminating income inequality (and/or removing money control as form of slavery).

It's about time we focused on the important stuff.

“This is the right time for this initiative. Across the world we see momentum building for concrete action that reduces energy poverty, catalyses sustainable economic growth and mitigates the risks of climate change,” said the UN Secretary-General.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Disease in Poverty Declining

The part of this article which should be the most surprising, but doesn't actually surprise me, is that the developing nations of the world are doing more for their lower class than the wealthiest nations.  The report mentioned suggests that income inequality - regardless of amounts of wealth - leads to health consequences.

Yesterday Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), opened the WHO board meeting with a challenge. “Few will disagree with my statement,” she said. “Our world is in very bad shape.”

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Trap of Poverty

The sad but unsurprising truth of poverty is that it traps people - children are the most likely to become victims of this.  If you are born into poverty, you are likely to remain poor...

New Zealand researchers have put hard numbers to the adage that success breeds success - and failure breeds failure.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Success of Kenya's Democracy in Debate

This article takes a look at Kenya's economic development with respect to its democratic government, suggesting that the presence of a democracy could be hindering it's ability to grow.

As Kenya has entered another election year, debates on the achievements of its democracy are likely to increase. A functioning democracy needs more than elections, but even the management of elections has proven difficult for Kenya in the past, which partly explains why the economic performance has often been weak in election years and beyond.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More on Child Poverty in the UK

More from The Campaign to End Child Poverty...

A 'child poverty map' exposed the UK's most stricken areas today, as campaigners warned that targeting Government cuts at families would lead to an 'economic and a social disaster'.

Child Poverty in the UK

This article takes a numbers look at children living in poverty in the UK.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty has published its poverty map of Great Britain which shows that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is the worst area in the UK for child poverty with more than half its youngsters classed as being in poverty.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Haitian Poverty, 2 Years after the Earthquake

Having seen the slow recovery and response to the poor in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina (5 years after the disaster, most of the old poorer neighborhoods were still largely unrecovered), it is not a surprise to me the number of people in Haiti who are still without basic living needs after 2 years.  This article details some of the numbers...

More than a third of households affected by the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake and over half of those living in the camps have not recovered basic household assets nearly two years after the disaster, according to an analysis by Tulane University researchers.

Haiti - Commentary 2 Years After

This particular article is a commentary on an Op/Ed piece in the New York Times.  I appreciate the notations the author makes in this article as they point out some of the critical elements which serve to keep Haiti suppressed in it's current state of poverty (and leftover destruction from the earthquake).

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a fact which an op/ed in today's New York Times notes is an inevitable catchphrase in any article about the hapless country occupying the western third of Hispaniola.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Free Trade Agreement in Africa to Promote intra-African Trade

This month, many African Heads of State will come together in an effort to launch a "continent-wide free trade agreement (CFTA)."  This is in an effort to promote intra-African trade and hopefully provide an avenue for the poor to free themselves from economic oppression.

Effective regional integration in Africa would not only enhance trade within Africa but it would also attract investment in manufacturing. Experience in many countries has demonstrated that light manufacturing can be a major source of job creation and economic growth. African countries remain highly fragmented, preventing investment by firms in the development of efficient supply chains on the continent.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reducing Poverty in Lagos, Nigeria

The National Association of Microfinance Banks in Lagos are putting forth an effort to dispurse N100 billion in loans this year, in an effort to reduce poverty in Nigeria - this article points out that currently 70% of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

About 70 percent of 150 million Nigerians live below the poverty line, this figure rose from 54 percent previously. Poverty in Nigeria remains endemic in spite of poverty alleviation works. Experts have criticised the development, describing it as unacceptable because of the risk it poses to economic growth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Answer to Poverty is...a Football Cup?

This is perhaps purely an example of the rich trying to get richer.  In Equatorial Guinea - a country where 60% of the population is in poverty - the government focuses it's efforts on hosting the Wonga cup.  As this article points out, the nation is host to a resource of oil - yet the majority of the population suffers.

However, also like Qatar, Equatorial Guinea does have lots of lovely oil. Unfortunately for the people of the country, the third smallest by land mass in continental Africa, they do not get to see much of the benefits. The Unicef reports are depressing in the extreme: 20 per cent of children die before the age of five; 60 per cent of the population live in poverty.

Monday, January 16, 2012

More on Nigeria

Here is another article focusing on the problems in Nigeria.  This article displays how a Nigerian living on minimum wage is affected by the situation.

GOVERNMENT must have planned for the backlash of the hike in the price of petrol. However, its responses so far show a low appreciation of the economic status of Nigerians, the few exceptions being those who live off inexhaustible government largesse at the expense of others.

Remembering MLK

As we remember MLK today, I invite you to check out this article which has quotes from his speech in 1967 where he addressed income inequality.

Today as Americans remember Martin Luther King Jr. many will focus on the vision King so eloquently illustrated in his “I Have a Dream” speech.  However, what is often forgotten is that MLK attempted to accomplish the dream many years after he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.  The “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963.  Four years later, in 1967, MLK attempted to move the dream forward with his “Where Do We Go from Here?” speech. 

Price Increases and Strikes in Nigeria

Price increases in Nigeria - particularly in fuel - have caused a massive backlash with strikes, protests and "national paralysis."  This coming to a nation of people already stricken by limited means...

After five days of strikes, protests and national paralysis over a sharp rise in the government-controlled price of fuel, Nigerians emerged from their homes this weekend to find the fragile calculus underpinning most people’s lives in the country further threatened.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Politics and Poverty in India

This article provides perhaps a look into Indian politics - specifically as they surround the subjects of poverty and the general welfare of the public.

"Yet, in this hallowed land of democracy, the poor remain poor; farmers commit suicide because they can’t pay off their debts; villages go without electricity, safe water or passable roads; the sick are treated like dirt in public hospitals and; slums are the only shelters for millions. How’s that possible?..."