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JCI Generol Poper 2009: Poverly Leclure Noles

A, Some fast fac* {source: www.gtobotissLJes.org)

Alrnost holf the world over 3 billion people

live on less thon $2.50 -o doy. -
The GDP (Gross Domesiic Produci) of the 4l
Heovily lndebted Poor Counlries {567 miltion
people) is less thon the v,eolih of ihe world's 7
richesl people combined.
Neorly o billion people eniered jhe 2tsl century
unoble lo reod o book or sign lheir nomes.
Less lhon one per cenl of whoi the world spenl
every yeor on weopons wos needed 10 pul
every child inlo school by the yeor 2000 ond
yet it did not hoppen.
I billion children iive in poverly {l in 2 children in
the world). 640 million live wiihoLrl odequoie
services. 10.6 rniliion died in 2003 before they reoched the oge oi 5 (or roughly 29,000
children per doy).

E. (oncepts
Also exisls wilhin weollhy nolions such os USA where 32 million people, or l2% of ils
populolion, llve below lhe povedy line.

The Poverty Line. This is the minimum dondord of living in o sociely ll vories from sociely
io society (USA US$1,000, 3d Worid U59250).lhe poverty Line resufts in the Nodh-South

Absolule poverty. A condilion in which o person is deemecl not lo permonenlly hove

enough lo sotisfy bosic biologicol needs for food, woler, sheller ond clothing. people
ore molnourished, diseose+idden, clre vulneroble lo nolurol ond mon mode disosters
ond live in oppolling condilions.

Relqlive poverly. A condilion ln which o person is deemecl not lo hove enough lo leocl o
full life compored wiih olher people in lhe communily. people live in conceniroled
colleclive poverly in cily slums, with peeling point ond inodequoie heoling.

o trop, which leods io o culiure of poverly. poor

The Poverty Cycle. lt is o vicious cycle,
home conditions....low educolion....poor jobs....eorly mordoge....lorge fomily....poor

The Shorl-term Poor. They move out of poverty wiihin o few monihs, o yecrr, or ol mosl o
few yeors,

The long-term Poor. Poverty losls ol leosi B yeo6. Very few people poss povedy ocross
generoiions. Only I in 5 persons who ore poor os children ore slill poor when ihey ore
C. A" Closer fooLat (Poverty

i. Couses of Poverly

The Theory of lnnote lnferiority .t"i-t o reloiionship between ihe lock of success
(preslige oi job ond eornings) ond ihe lock of intelligence ond chorocier. 11 orgues thot ihe
poor ore in ihot condilion becouse lhey do nol meosure up to ihe more well lo do in
inlellecluol endowmenl ond morollibre. (This theory hos, however, lorgely been rqecled by
sociol scieniists)

rne Theofo of Culturol lnferiority ctoims lnoi the poor hove diftereni volue syslems
ond lifesiyles from lhe resl ol sociely ond lhol these cullurol differences exploin continued
poverly. such cullure resulh lrom oclopiing lo lhe condilions ol poverly. Hence, lhe poor ore
soid io hove o presenl-time orienioiion rolher thon fulure+ime orienlolion, which therefore
mokes them less opl lo defer grolificolion, less likely lo be inleresled in fonnol educolion,
more fololislic ond unwiling lo seek opporiuniiies ond more resisloni iowords loking
responsibilily for iheir own economic well-being.

tn recenl yeors, cUltUrol explonotions seem lo hove mode o comebock. The l9B5
book Underdeve/opment Is o slole of Mind hos recenlly been reissued, which cloims lhol
Lolin Americon poverly is coused by Colholic volues inheiied by Lotin Americon counlries.
Politicol scienlist Somuel Hunlingion colloboroied with Horrison on on ediled volume colled
Cullore Mofters: How Voloes Shope Humon Progress. Al ihe some iime, lhe World Bonk
begon lo pick up the lheme of cullurol explonolions, pulling milions of dolors inlo new
reseorch ond conferences on lhe subjecl, ond funding projecls in poor counlries mode 1o
chonge culllrrol volues.

Sociologisi Mox weber wos lhe firsl fo suggesl ihol it wos cullurol volues thol offect how
economicolly successful o person would be. ln his Ihe Proleslonl Ethic ond the Spiil of
Copifolism, he orgues thot lhe Proleslont Reformolion led 10 volues lhoi drove people
loword worldly ochievements, o hord wo* ethic, ond soving lo occumulole weolih. Oihers
exponded on weber's ideos, producing modernizolion lheory ond putling forword o process
thol oll notions should follow to become odvonced induslriol notions. They believed thot to
redJLe poverly. volue\ ono olliludes murt be chonqed.
Experts otso highttght Structurol Theories thoi point the finsers or lnstitutionol
Discriminolion, which occurs when the cuslomory woys of doing ihings, prevoiing
oliilucies ond expeclolions, ond occepled slruciurol crrTongemenls work io the
disodvontoge of the poor, ior povedy. For one, l-flo51 good jobs feqUife highef
educoiion. poor connol offord to send their children to
bur rhe
college, which therefore meons thoi they CoFthol goin occess to lhe very
some jobs. There courd otso oe limited opporlunities in life for rociol
minOfities, who mcy foce discriminoiion in lerms of emptoymeni, Ond WOmen, who
moy be disodvantoged by lheir very troditionol role os coreqiver ond nuriuTeT.

Uglqylig s ethnic lndion communily stoged ils biggesl onli-governmenl sireet proteti on
Sundoy when more thon 10,000 proteslers defied ieor gos oncl woter connon lo voice
complainls of rociol discdminolion. Mony prolesiers complo ned of o lock of educolionol
ond business opporlunilies, so/ng o governmenl ofiirmolive-oclion policy in fovor of mojorily
eihnic Mcrlqys hod morginolized them. Opposilion groups soy lhe mosi severe coses of
poverly exisl omong lndions. Broughl over os indenlured lobor from the lote lB00s by coloniol
ruler Briioin, lndions worked Moloyos rubber esioles. These esioies were lclter broken up,
forcing mony unskilled lndion workers inlo poveriy in lhe ciiy. fl I Nov 07, Ihe Siroits limes,l

Some cloim lhoi poverty is olso lhe producj of cleindustrio izoiion. As ihe LJ.S. shifls from o
monufoclurjng, induslriol socieiy io o service-orienl--d, high tech society, mony of the b ue,
col crrjobs lhoi requirecl ljlile edLJcolion bul poid well ore disoppeoring or beinq oulsourced-

Even tomilies with hvo working porenls ore oflen one slice of bod luck , o medicol bili or
'oclorv clo\L A owoy 'ro'n di,osle'. The mini.nu.n wooe ol $5.15(!2.95) on l^our ho1 nor ri(en
since 1997 ond, odjr.rsled for inflolion, is ol iis lowest since 1956. The qop between ihe hoves
oncl lho hove nor5 looms wder rhon e!e.. Mony believe i is -he chorgi.rg fo.e o' lhe U_!
economy. Tulso hos been devosloled by job iosses. Big-nome firms like Wo;dCom, Willioms
Energy ond Citco hove closecl or moved, costing the cily oboul 24,000 jobs. Now Wol,Mod
embodies lhe new Americon job morkef: low woges, few beneflls.

WelLpoid work onLy goes lo lhe universily educoled. Mony others who just compleie high
schoolfoce o bleok future. ln Texos more lhon o third of studenls enle ng public high schools
now clrop oul. These people ore enlering lhe frogile world of the working poor, where eoch
doy is o mere step owoy from trogedy, I l9 Februory 2006, The ObseNer)
WOffofe diverts scorce resources io moinloining mililory insleod of fighling poverly. lt olso
couses moleriol ond humon desiruciion, brinqinq oboui moior developmeniol problem.

From i 990 to 1993, lhe period encompossing Deserl Slorm, per copilo GDP in Lqq fell from
$3500 10 $761. The drop in overoge income, while o slriking represenlolion of the drop in ihe
well-being of ihe overoge lroqi citizen in the oflerrnoih of the wor, foils lo copiure lhe
brooder offecls of domoges to lhe infroslruclure ond sociol services, sLrch os heollh core
oncl occess lo cleon woler-

Anolher exomple is the wor between Ethiopio ond Eriheo from 1999 to 2000 over lheir
borders. During this period bolh couniries foced severe food shorloges due 10 droughl yet
scorce resources were being spent on fighting.

Noturol disosters, such os droughls, flooding, hurricones ond eodhquokes hove

clevosloled comrnunities due lo lhe cleslruciion of consiruclions ond inlrosiruclure.
Environmenlol forces ofien couse ocuie periods of crisis by desiroying crops oncl onimols.

Droughl, exocerboled by ihe 2004 desed locusl invosion, led lo o poor horvesl. This,
combinecl with on economic crisis ond shorply higher food prices, hos brolrghl ldgg!'s
olreody impoverished populolion lo crilicol levels of food insecurily, wilh on estimoled
2.5 million people, including obout 800000 children, ol r5k of food shorioge. Severe child
molnulrilion, which okeody offecls oround 150 000 children, is ropidly on ihe rise. (Food ond
Agriculfurol Otganisofion of lhe United Nolions/

The Februory 2000 floods in Mozombioue, poris oi gqE]!g!g, South Africo ond zimbobwe
deslroyed the livelihoods of over o million people, leoving lhem wilh no food or shelier ond
olher essenliol inf rostruciure.

Climote chonge in the form of globolworming hos coused mony chonges oround lhe
world. Temperolures orouncl the wo d hove gone up, cousing iormers to experience less roin,
ihus resulting in lesser horvesi. Woler leves in lhe oceons ore rlsing 1oo ond some couniries
ore becoming more prone 1o llooding. Climole chonge primoily offecis the livelihoods of
people lhoi depend on lhe nolurol envkonmenl which, in Africo, meons neorly everyone.
The pooresl regions ond people sLrfler lhe mosl, becouse they rely on noiurol resources lo
meel ihek bosic needs. They olso hove lhe leosl resources lo deol wilh lhe elfecls of their
chonging environmenl. The impoci of climole chonge will foll disproportionotely upon
developing counlries ond ihe poor persons wilhin ol counlries, lhereby exocerboling
inequities ln heollh slolus ond occess io odequote foocl, cleon woler ond olher resources. A
direct efiecl of climoie chonge will be on increose in lemperolure re oled illnesses oncl
deolhs. Extended inlense heot woves combined with humidity moy increose deolh ond
diseose roies, especiolly omong the eldefly ond in city slums. Another effecl will be increosed
deolh oncl injury from exlreme weolher evenls such os flooding, lonclslides, ond slorms.
Chonges in temperoiure ond roinfoll moy olso chonge ihe geogrophic ronge ot diseoses
such os molorio ond dengue fever.

ln Jonuory 2006, the Fomine Eody Worning Syslems Neiwork reporled lhot in (C!yq, the iood
shorloge problem ocross lhe counlry wos olorming ond would probobly gel worse. Lock of
roin or floodinq resulls in foiled crops, ond poor weother conditions ore becoming more
requlor ond prolo in thi5 port ot Africo.
Coffuption clireclly oflecls poverty crncl rnequcl ily when leoders help lhemselves lo
money lhoi would olherwise be usecj for development projecls. The unJoir disiribulion oi
income ond inefficienl use of resources in iurn breeds clisconteni ond instobility omong the
people. Corrupiion crffecls lhe pooresi ihe mosl, whelher in rich or poor notions, oncl is often
occomponied by cenlrctliscrlion ol power when leoders ore nol occounioble lo lhose ihev

The Kenyon Bribery lndex 2005 reporls thoi, in 2004,34% of jhose surveyecl encounlered
bribes. The Police Force received lhe worsl ronking. Allhough the number of bribes hos
decreosed in recenl yecrrs, lhe size ot lhe bribes hos increosed. {Kenvo is ronkecl l47llB0;n
ihe worlcl on the Corruplion Perceplion lndex) Countries suffering from poveriy such os
Zimbobwe, Sudor!, Congo, Myonmor ond Somolio clre ol the botiom len oi this index.

.o ttauoesirri o,
iruslroiing poveriy reduclion slroiegies in lheir member slcltes. An officiol from Tonzonio
Associoiion of Non-covernmenlol Associoiion Orgonizolions {TANGO), Musso Billegeyo, soid
yeslerdoy in Dor es scr oom thot SADC region wos very rjch in nolurol resources bul iis people
remoined poor. Accorcling to Billegeyo, SADC region hos o loi of noluroj resources which, if
monoged properly, could heip erodicole poverty. He noled thol, lhe levels of conuplion in
the region were very high, ond likely 1o jeoporclize lhe lrusl clmong rnember sloles in lhe
process of pulling in ploce o colleciive SADC s poverly reduclion frcrmework.
{30 Jonuory
2008,Ihe Guordian)

One of ihe more enirenched sources of poveriy ihrougholri the word is SOCiOI
inequolity siemming from culiurol icleos oboul the retotive worth of cltfferent gencters,
roces. eihnic groups ond socicrl closses. lndividuols in dilfereni socielies ore ofien
coleatixized oi birth bosed on vorious choroclerislics such os reigion, ejhnic or roce.
lne.l ir ily is increosing in o world while the world oppeors 10 be globolizinq.
ln !jz!!LA icon h6tory oporlhaid lows definecj o binory coste sysiem ih(ll ossigned diiferenl
riglitr .rr lock lhereof, ond sociol sloius to Whiles ond Blcrcks, usinq skin colour lo
or I .rl;colly delermine ihe opportunilles ovoiloble io individuols in eclch group.

ln (c-rl!g, women's righis to properly cire unequol to lhose of men. Women,s righls io own
on.r inherii properly ore conlinuolly under oltclck from cusloms, lows, oncl inclivicluols.
incl!.Jin.l government officiols who believe lhot women connot be lrusled wilh or do nol
clelerve properly. Women in Kenyo moke up B0 perceni of lhe ogriculiurol lclbour force ond
prcvicle 60 percenl of fclrm income ond yel own only 5 percenl of the lond. lhe iroditionol
divisior oi lcrbour olso overburdens women who hove lo spend fime ond energy on clomeslic
chores, such os felching woler ond firewoocl, morkeling, ond roisjng the children in oddition
10 the fornl work, in mony coses, being o womon meons being poor,

Mony believe ihcll mosl cleveloping nolions ore in debi ond poveriy porily clue to lhe
SlfUCtUrOl OdjUStment pOliCieS of inlernoiionoi insiitulions such os ihe lnternotionot
Monelory Fund {lMF) ond ihe World Bonk. Arnong olher cooclilions, SAp policies odvocole
privolizolion of siole owned enlerprises 10 privoie owners, oflen foreign invesiors. privqiisoiion
is, unforlunoiely, lypicolly ossociolecl with lcryoffs ond poy culs for workers in ihe privotized
enlerprises. The slondord SAP policy pockoge olso cclJls for cuh in governmenl spencling,
which often meons o reducljon in services ovcriloble lo ihe poor, inclucling heollh ond
educoiion seryices, os well os form subsidies. Afler oirnosi lwo decodes of ,,ocljuslmenl,' in
Africo, the resull hos been on increose in incorne clnd weolth inequcrlily wiih more oncl more
popu crlions being pushed below the poverly line.
ii. The Psychologicol Consequences of Poveriy

Being poor is degfoding. lhe poor oflen clefine lhemselves os follures, ond moy be
rejecled ond clespised b'y oihers in society.

Being poor engendefs hopelessnesS, *hich moy resuli in opolhy. The poor connol
oiford io go on slrikes ogoinsl low woges or big renl ond connol offord lowyers or lobbyisls. ln
mony socieiies, lhe poor reolise lhe overwhelming odds ogoinst lheir ochieving succets ln
lerms of lhe volues ond gools of moinsireom sociely. Consequenily, they moy lend to feej
thoi iheir foies ore in lhe honds of poweful olhers-

Being poor engendefs ongef ond fesentment. The poor ore u"ry oflen lhe lost
to be hirecl_ond the first to be fired. They oflen live in poor housing wilh filthy conditions- They
poy hiqher inleresl roles becouse lhey ore poor credil risks - onolher vicious cycle. They see
offluence oll oboui lhem bJl no motler how hord ihey lry, ore unoble lo shore in it.

iii. other lmpocl / lmplicqlions ot Poverty

Mosl ot the poor people live in sUbstondord living conditions. most of which hove
no bosic sewoge, cleon woler or eleciriciiy.

of oclequoie food, moke them mofe

Such living condilions, coupled with lhe lock
vulneroble lo preventoble diseoses. over ihe post three decodes. mony
diseoses were cliscovered lo hove originoled from developing counlries lhol hod
rudimenicrry surveillonce copobility. The ihree primory diseoses of povedy ore AIDS, molorio,
ond luberculosis.

"Mqlqriq ond poverly ore inlimolely connecled. As bolh o rool couse ond o
consequence of poverly, molorio is mosl inlroclqble for lhe pooresl counlries
ond communilies in lhe world lhol foce o vicious cycle of poverly ond ill
heqfth", /rhe Eorih lnslitule, univesily of Colombio)

ll is no coincidence ihol the only ports of Africo thot hove significonily reduced molorio ore
lhe norihern ond soulhern tips, home lo lhe richest counlries on lhe conlinent. ln ihe Weslern
Hemisphere, lhe country with lhe worsl molorio, Egl!. olso hoppens lo be ihe pooresl
counlry in tlol region . It ebruory 20Ol. lhe l( onomic Eurden ol Matol;o. leffrey So( h\ & John
Luke Gollup, Centet for lnferno onol Developmenf, HaNotd)
Poveriy resutts in rnony receiving inodeqUole of o lock of educolion. EveniuolLy,
lhese chilclren grow up oncl hold deod end, low pcrying ond unsloble iobs due lo iheir low
level of educolion. ncome becomes more erroiic due lo unsioble income oncl ihey encl up
being sluck in ihis poveriy lrop.

Children from poor ond clisodvonloged fomilies ore ol risk of low tiierot
According to o 2003 Repod Cord on Child poverty in Conodo by Comporgn 2OOO, even in
the yeor 2001, olrnosi one in six children in Conodo still lived in poverly. These chilclren ore
ollen nol well served by lhe school syslem where lhey ore likely io be lobelled ond ploced in
c osses where less is expecled of ihem ond less moy be offered. Their porenls moy nol hove
lhe informolion, confidence, or skills to chollenge the school syslem for help_ Mony poor
children either drop oui of high school or groduole wilhout being fully literoie. /Movement for
Cancldion Lileroc

The denioF of eclucolionol odvonioges meons crtso thot mUCh hUmOn tOlent
femoins hidden ond repfessed. The whole society k thus poorer cufiuro y ond

Poveriy ond third worlcl debl hove been shown io resutt in feSOUfCe Stfipping Oy
counlries offeciecl in order lo survive oT poy off clebts. Also, poor counlries ore more likely lo
ollow foreign industries ond locol businesses to operote below lhe
envifonmentol stOndOfds. Such ociions hove in iurn resutled in voriolrs
environmentol problems.

n recenl yeors, Nepol ond Bonqlodesh hove suffered from increosingly devosloiing floods,
ofien believed lo be resuliing from Jorge scole deforeslcliion. /www. g/obo/issues. orgl

Poverty is one of ihe mo;n couses oi forest ond woodlond clegrodolion in southern Africo
ond il is bolh o consequence ond o corrse of lhis degrodqtion. ln ihe SADC region noiionol
foreds ore oso being exploiled for homesleod construclion moleriqls. The deslruciion of
foresh lhqi resulis conlribuies to lond degrodoiion processes ond ollers ihe soil woter
regimes. A clegroded environmenl produces less, so people become moTe vulneroble, for
exomple, lo woler borne ond olher diseoses. fsoulhern Atico Regionol paverfy Nef{ork)

Poorer developing counlries oflen hove insuflicienl environmenlcll restroinls on lhe conducl
oi corporolions. ln these developed counlries, which ore eoger for foreign inveslmenl oncl
jobs, corporolions hove significonlly more lreedom 1o exploii noiurol resources ond pollLtte
lhe envkonmenl, oflen wilhout hoving lo poy even o smoll pod of lhe envkonmenlol cleon
oir bill. /McCormick Polickf. ond Connors, Russe/t 8. Focinq Elhico/ lss
Poveriy funclomenlolly erodes o siole's copocily to cleliver essenliol services io ihe
poputotion. Conflicts develop os peop e iighi for suryivol.

The combinoiion of decodes ot clroughl, desertificolion, ond overpopulolion ore omong ihe
couses of lhe Dorfur confllci. The United Nolions eslimoles thcrl the conflict hos lefl os mony
os 300,000 cleod from violence ond diseose.

Ihe fruslrolion-oggression lheory oncl the relolive deprivo an iheory suggesl lhoi individuols
become oggressive when lhere ore obslocles {perceived ond reol) to their srrcce\\ in life
Dollord el ol (1939), in whot becorne known os the fruslrolion oggrestion hypofhesis, orgued
thol "lhe occunence ot oggressive behoviour cllwoys presupposes the exislence of
fruslrolion ond, conlroriwise, lhot lhe exhtence of fruslrolion olwoys leods io some form oi
oggression". They defined frusirolion os prevenling ihe fu fillmenl of o gool. Closely
ossocioled wilh ihe fruslroiion-oggression lheory is lhe re/oiive deprivotian lheary. This theory
slresses lhol somelimes people perceive lhemselves io be deprived re oiive to olhers. ll is the
perceplioruihoi creoles lhe inler-group hoslility, rother thon lhe ocluol reloiive siolus of ihe
lwo groups.

These theories ore relevonl in discussinq lhe reloiionship beiween poverly ond conflicl in
Africo. With poor governonce slruclures ond unequol occess ond distribLrtion of economic
resources, some segmenis ot ihe populolion lend io hove belier opporiuniiies thon olhers.
This inevilobly olters power relolions ond in iurn leods lo ihe persisience ol poveriy omongsl
cerloin groups wilh very serious consequences for sociol slobilily.

povedy hos been hoired os o threct lo globol security ond terrorism, with
experls concl!ding ihol "povedy breeds lerror". World poverly creoies condiiions conducive
lo jronsnoiionol criminol enierprises ond lerrorisJ clcliviiies, nol only by moking desperole
individuo s potenliolly more susceplible 1o recruilment, bul olso, ond more significonlly, by
undermining ihe siole's obilily io prevenl ond counler those violeni lhreois. Also, much of
modern doy lronsnollonol ierrorism seems to generole from grievonces ogoinsl rich counkies.

Worlcl leoclers meeling ot o developmenl summit in Mexico hove colled for increosed oid lo
poor co!niries lo help slomp oui exlreme poverly os o motivolion for ierorism. Former heod
of the World Trode Orgcrnisollon {WTO), Michoel Moore, soid thot poverly is whol he colls the
"greolest sing e lhreot io peoce, securily, democrocy, humon righis ond ihe environmenl".
122 Morch 2A02, BBC)
iv. lmpocl of Poverly on Women qnd Children

Poverly mokes people, especiolly women ond chidren, vulneroble io vorious iypes of

An eslimoled I58 million children oged 5-14 ore engoged in child lobour - one in six children
in the worrd. Milions of children Ore engoged in hOZOrdOUs SitUOtiOnS Or
COnditiOnS, sucn os working in mines, working wilh chemicols ond pesticides in ogriculture
or working wilh dongerous mochinery. Sorne loil os clomeslic servonls in homes, while olhers
loboLrr behind ihe wolls of workshops, hidden from view in plonlolions. ln Sub-sohoron Africo
oround one in lhree children ore engoged in child lobour, represenling 69 million children. ln
Childfen living in the
souih Asio, onoiher 44 mlttion ore engoged tn chitd tobolr.
poorest households ond in rurol oreos ore most likely to be
engoged in child lobour. rnose burdened wilh househotd chores ore
overwhclmingly girls. Millions of girls who work os domeslic servonls ore especiolly vulneroble
to exploilotion ond obuse. /UNICEF/

The proctice of girls morrying ol o young oge is most common in sub,sohoron Africo ond
Soulh Asio. Survey dolo of oround 100 couniries showed ihot;n developing counlries, more
thon 6[r mi/lion women oged 20-24 were moried/in unlon belore ihe oge of ]8. Over ihirly-
one rn on of lhem live in Soulh Asio. ln counlries like Bonglcldesh, Cenlrol Africon Republic,
Chcr.l. Guineo, Moli, ond Niger more lhon 60 per cenl of women enlered into morrioge or
into o L,nion before their eishteenth birthdoys. Girls living in the pooresl 20 per
cenl cf households ore more likely to get morried of on eorly oge
lhon those living in the weollhiesl 20 per cent. ln peru 45 per cenr of
women were morr;ed by oge lB omong ihe pooresl 20 per cenl, compored lo S per cenl
omong lhe richesi 20 per cent (UNICEF eslimotes bosed on DHS 2000J. porenh choose lo
morry off their doughiers eorty ior o number of reosons. POOI fomilies moy fegofd O
young girl os on economic burden ond her morrioge os o
necessory survivol slrotegy for her fomily. luNrcrrT
lrofficking is o viololion ot fundomeniol rights. Trofficking in children is o globol probiem
offecling lorge numbers of children. Some estimoles hove os mony os 1.2 rnillion children
beins lrofficked every yeor. There is o demond for trofficked children os
cheop lobour or for sexuol exploiloiion. chilclren ond their fomilies ore often
unowore of the dongers of trofficking, believing thol better
employment ond lives lie in olher counlr;es. uNlcEF esiimoies thot 1,000 to
l,5OO Guolemolon bobies ond children ore trofficked eoch yeor for odoplion by couples in
Norih Americo oncl Europe. Girls os young os l3 (moinly from Asio ond Eoslern Europe) ore
trofficked os "moiForder brides". ln mosi coses, ihese girls ond women ore powerless ond
isototed ond oi greol risk of violence. Lofge numbers of children ore being
trofficked in West ond Centrol Africo, moinly for domeslic work but
olso for sexuol exploitolion ond to work in shops or on forms.
Neorly 90 per cent of these trofficked domestic workers ore girls.
Children from Togo, Moli, Burkino Foso ond Ghono ore irofficked to Nigerio, lvory Coosl,
Comeroon-ond Gobon. Children ore trofficked both in ond out of Benin ond Nigerio Some
children ore senl os for owoy os the Middle Eost ond Europe. IUNICEF/

Sexuol oclivily is often seen os o pdvote motter, moking communiiies reluclonl to ocl ond
interyene in coses of sexuol exploilolion. These ollittrcles moke chilclren more vulneroble io
sexuol exploilolion- surveys indicole thot 30 10 35 per cenl of oll sex wo(ers in the Mekong
sub-region of Soulheosl Asio ore belween 12 ond l/ yeors of oge. Mexico's sociol service
ogency reporls ihoi lhere ore more thon 16,000 children engogecl in prosliluiion, wiih tourisl
deslinolions being omong lhose oreos wiih lhe highesl number. ln Lilhuonio, 20 to 50 percent
of prostiluies ore believed lo be minors. Children os young os oge I I ore known lo work os
proslilufes. Children from children's homes, some l0 lo 12 yeors old, hove been used io
moke pornogrophic movies. IUNICEF/

An eslimoled 3OO,O00 child soldiers - boys ond girTs under the oge of lB - ore involved in
more lhon 30 conflicls worldwide. Child soldiers ore used os combolonts, messengers, poriers,
cooks oncl lo provide sexuol services. Some ore forcibly recruited or obducted, Olhefs
ore driven to join by poveriy, obuse ond discriminolion, or io seek revenge for
violence enocled oqoinsl lhemselves ond their fomilles. lo 20A2lhe Optionol Protocol lo fhe
Canvention on the Righls of the Child an the lnvolvemenl af Childrcn in Armed Conflicf
enlered inlo force. li oullows ihe involvemenl of children under oge l8 in hoslilities. As well os
reqLliing Stotes 10 roise lhe oge of compulsory recruilmenl ond direci podicipotion in
conflicl lo lB, ihe optionol Proiocol requires Slotes porties io roise lhe minimum oge for
voluniory recruilmenl beyond the curreni minimum of 15.
During ormed confrict. girls ond women ore threolened by rope,
domestic violence, sexuol exploitolion, lrofficking, sexuol
humiliolion ond
mutilotion. Use of rope ond oiher forms oi viotence ogoinst women
hos become o slroiegy in wors for oll s'des_ lnvesiigotive reporis following the 1994 genocide
in Rwondo concluded ihot neorly every femole over lhe oge of 12 who survived the
genocide wos roped- During ihe conilict in ihe former yugotovio, more lhon 20,000 were
esiimoied io hove been sexuo ty ossouted. Conflict ojso breoks up fomilies,
piocing odditionol economic ond emotionol burdens on women.
Children in ormed conflict olso routinely experience emoiionolly
Ond psychologiCOlly poinful events such os ihe viotent cleoth or o poreni or
close relolive; seporotion from fomily; wilnessi.rg loved ones being killed or lodured;
displocemeni from home ond communily; exposure lo combot, shelling ond oiher life
threolening siluotions; ocls of obuse such os being obducled, orresled, held in detention,
roped, toriured; disruption of school roulines ond communily life; desliiulion ond on
uncerloin fuiure. rUNICEF./

v. The Sociol ond Economic Funclions of Poverty

The workins poor provicte o low-woge lobour pool thot does sociely's
necessofy "difty wofk". The rnidc e ond upper ctosses ore subsidized by ihe
exislence of economic oclivilies thot depend on lhe poor. Mony induslries would noi hove
thrived wilhout this under poid workforce.

The exisience of the non working poor CreOteS jObS fOf O nUmbef Of
OCCUpOtiOn Ond pfOfeSSiOnS thot serve the poor or proiect ihe rest of the socieiy
from lhem - sociol workers, welfore ogencies, pownshop owners. Jhey help mOdefn
medicine by being lhe guineo pigs in.nedico erpe imFnr\

collecrivery. rhey subsidise merchonls by purchosing products thot

olherwise would hove liltle or no volue -ditopidored cors, dererjororjns
houses, siole food, elc. Their low stolus guoronlees lhe siotus of ihose who ore nol poor_
vi. why lhe Richer Nolions Should Tockle Poverly

Very oiien, poorer couniries ore poor becouse of lhe unfoir terrns of lrocle imposed by ihe
richer couniries. There is o need to righl lhe wrong.

For one, someof the dcher ond more powerful counlries subjecl the poorer, developing
noiions to Unfoif pfices by subsidising their own formers, thereby ensuring lhol they
generole more produce thon needed ol orlificiolly low pices. This tencilers ihe world's
pooresi formers incopoble of compeling.

The wodd's richest nolions, especiolly Alocilg ond in Europe, deliberoleLy poy iheir formers
lo producofor loo much food ot orlificiolly low prices lo prevenl lhe world s pooresl formers
from being oble lo compeie- The Europeon ljnion spends holf of its entire budgel on
unnecessory ond uneihicol onti-compelitive subsidies. { l0 Septembet 2003' The lndependent

Thisreduces lhe incentive for locol formers to produce food, os ihey connol clo so ol prices
which ore os low. Al ihe some lime, lhis proctice of seling lood ol orliliciolly low prices olso
effeciively locks out more efficieni food producers from selling lheir products in Eilrope ond
the US.

Poorer couniries ore olso longuishing under the Unfoif deols tney hod received for their
commodilies, lhus rendering ihem unoble to escope lhe poveriy lrop.

Mosl cleveloping counlries depend on exporling primory commodilies teo, sugor, coffee,
rubber, copper ior lheir exporl eornings. Between 1980 ond 1986, the prices lhol
developing counlries received for their non-oil primory commodily expods fell by 26%.
Developing counlries wonl crnd need sloble morkels for their commodilies ond olso more
\loble pr .er.

ln 1986, Tonzgdq, desperoie lo eorn more income, cloubled ils colton outpui. The roins
come, lhe peosonis plonied, grew ond horvested thek crops. lhen in one doy in July, the
price of collon on lhe worl<i morkel fell from 68 lo 34 cenls per pound, which meons ihen
lhot the efiorl mocle by lhe peosonis hod nol aesulled in on increose in income
UnforlLlnoiely, lhe ogrjculture seclor ploys on imporioni role in lhe Tonzonion economy qnd
possesses lhe poleniiol to odvonce, or prevent the fulfillmenl oi, lhe couniry's objectives ol
growlh ond poverly reduclion clue io ils lorge shore in lhe economy. lHutchinson. Tolbat and
fuown- aur Ptonpl ond ir5 Pcopre J
Poverly is crlso perpeluoted due lo lhe exisience of UnfOif mOfkeiS. Some rich couniies
hove been known lo increose proleciion boraiers for lheir own indusfries, locking oui the
exporis from poorer countries. As developing couniries ore unoble lo sell lheir goods, iheir
F.porl -or.ling( fol o' d ln-I dFbl outcj^r \'r '16(] -.

The import toxes imposed on goods from developing counlries ore four 1o jive lirnes higher,
on overoge, ihon toriffs opplied on lrode belween rich nolions. A shirl mode by o worker in
Bonqlqdesh ollrocls 20 limes more imporl lox when ii enlers Americo thon goods imporled
from Britoin. CLoihing, llllig's seconcl lclrgest exporl io lhe US, is ioxed by Wcrshinglon ot t9
per cenl. lmports from counties such os Fronce, Jopon, ond Germony ore chclrged ol
oelweel ze'o ono I per ( en .
Cotfish formers in Mississippi hove secured proleclive loriifs of more lhon 60 per ceni ogoinsi
colfish imporls from Vietnom. The overoge lox role on Vielnomese goods enledng the US is B
per cent. For Duich goods il is just I per cenl, which meons Vielnom o country wilh gl
million people living in poveriy - poys rnore in US cusloms dulies lhon the Nelherlonds which
exporls {oL]r times os much lo A.nerica. (Watld froale atgonisofian, World Bank, US Dept of
Commercel Oxfam. DflD, Europeon Commission, Brozilian Gavernmenf, aECD, World
Deve/opmeni MovemeniJ

Some richer nolions olso procllse o policy oi dUmping o siluotion where cr cornpony
exporls o produci oi o price iower ihon lhe price ii normoly chorges on ils own horne morkei
- lheir goods on lhe poorer ones, ihereby exocerboiing poverly ond globol inequolilies-

On 28 April 2005, the World Trode Orgonisoiion (WTO) uphelcl its judgment thot EU sugor
policies ore lllegcrl ond ihot EU suqor subsidies conirovene WTO rules. The ouicome of ihis
cose, iniiiolecl by o comploint from !i!g4t Thoilond, ond Aushotio morts o mojor slep
forword in the fighl ogoinsl unfoir ogriculiurol subsidies ond expod dumping.
The WIO ponel's tinol ruling suppods O{fom's clorm ihot oll EU sugor e,potls ore effeclively
subsidised, since EIJ cosls of procluclion for exceed lhe price ol whlch EU sugor con be viobly
exported. Subsidised Europeon exporls hove led lo lower prices on ihe world rnorkel, oncl
reduced exporl opporluniiies for olher exporlers. Oxfom hos eslimoled lhol EU ruiror exporl
dumping tronsloled inlo foreign exchonge losses in lhe region ol9494m for Brozil, gt5im for
Thojlond, ond $60m eoch for Soulh Airico ond lnclio in 2002.
Agricullurol subsidies ore one of ihe mosl conlenlious isslles in lhe curreni WTO negolioiions.
For mony developing coLrnfries, lhe unfoir use of subsidies lo dump surplLrs produclion in
exporl morkels symbolises the injustice of cunenl lrode rules, ond lhe double siondords of
rich counlries' irode policies. The sugor ruling odds to the growing pressure for chclnge in EU
ond US ogdcu lurol lrode policies ihcrl undermine the potenliol for poor producers in
developing counlrles lo lrode on foir lerms in lheir domeslic, regionol, ond worlcl morkeh.
Cerloin iypes of food "oid" iwhen nol for emergency relief) con ociuolly be desiruclive.
Dumping food on io poorer noiions {i-e. free, subsidized, or cheop food, below morkel pricet
underculs ocol formers, who connol compele ond ore driven oui of jobs ond inlo poverly,
furlher sloniing ihe morkel shore of ihe lorger producers such os lhose from lhe US ond

According io Peter Singer, giving lo victims of fomine, for exomple, is nol chorily bul duty. n
rocl. he berieves rhoi people hove on obligolion lo help ihose less well
off lhon lhem to tne exleni thot he ping lhese people does noi moke lhe lormer less
we I off thon ihe lotter, or require ihe former to socrifice something of comporoble volue.

Ol the opposite poinl of view is Gorrell Hordin, who believes lhoi we hove no such obligot'on
to give beccruse 1o do so wil clo no good. For exomple, fomine relief only postpones lhe
ineviioble - deoih ond sLrffering. According io Hordin, lhis is becouse overpopulolion
prodLrcecl by fcrmine re ief will leod 10 more fomine ond deolh. (MocKinnan, Botbora. 4th Ed.
Eihicsi Iheoly ond Coniemporory Issues.l

Rich noiions shou d lessen ihe gop beiween lhe rich ond poor noiions oncl oLleviole lhe
condilions of the le5s forlunole. n lerms of lrode olone, ihese poorer nolions con coniribule
much lo lhe former's economic benefit by ihe goods lhey cou d purchose irom the richer
ones- Moreov-or, ihe worldwide problems of migroiion of desperoie people lo weollhier
couniries could be mocleroled crnd lhe presenl doy problem of lerrorism, dromolico ly
recluced. ln ocldition, il rnusl be noied thol everyone, rich or poor, is offeclecl by clcrmoge io
the environment. tt is iherefore in lhe rich nolions' besl inleresl to find woys lo
eliminoie poverty, given lhot ihol olone could be the impeils behind environmeniol
deslrLrclion for ihose desperole for survivol. (MocKnnan, Borboro.4th Ed. Elhicsi lheory ond
Coniemporory lssues.J

one of lhe consequences of globol povedy is slress on the environment. Poor people in the
Amozon region, for exomple, cui down irees lo moke forms ond chorcool io sel.
lmpoverishecl people burning woocl for cooking ond wormih ore producing o lwo_mile ihick
blonkei of smoke over Eosl Asio. (Moc(nnon, Borboro.4th Ed. Ethics: Theoty ond
Cantemporory lssues.)

Members of o ldqlsylfsq opposiiion porly protesiecl ouiside lhe lnclonesicrn embossy in

Moloysio\ moin cily io urqe Jokorlo io stop the hunclreds of fires blorned for o lingering.
sllfllng hoze. RespkoJory ilnesses in ihe horcl hil slole of Sorowok hove risen by more thon 30
percenl ln lhe posl lwo monlhs, lhe 5(lrowcrk siole heollh cleporimenl soid in cr slolemeni,
whlle ouihorilies begon lo mobilize heollh services io deol wiih the shorp increqse in hoze-
reloled coses.

hC.glefiS lhe only couniry crmong the l0 member Associolion of Soulheosi Asion Nolions
lhol hosni rotified the ASEAN Agreemeni on Tronsboundory lloze Pollufion, which the
aroupinq opproved in 2002. 110 oclober 2006, The Associoied Pressl
Yii. Meosures lo lqckle poverly

Vorious meosures io iockle povetiy hove been implernenled, These meosures con be pre-
empiive or reclemplive in nolure, ond help io oddress lhe couses, ihe sympiorns or simply
lhe poverly siole.

Eifods hove been moae by individuols, componies or Non-Governmentol

Otgonisolions {o) FAM, NovtB, tnternotionol Recl cross to nome o few).

Over lhe posi decode, Mr Goles hos mocle o nome os one of lhe world's lop philonihropists,
wilh the Bill ond Melindo cotes Foundotion pledging $7bn to good couses. Sei up in 2000 by
Mr Goles ctrrd his wife Melindo from the merger of two fomily choriioble lrusis, lhe founclolion
hos o $27bn endowmeni ond is declicoled lo promoling greoier equcrlity in globot heotth
ond leorning. ln Februory 2004, lhe foundoiion pledged g83m to he p fighi iuberculosjs, o
diseose which the World Heolih Orgonisolion soys kills neorly 2 milion people o yeor. ln 2003 il
donoled $l58m lo fund reseorch inlo molorio ond mode g60rn ovoiloble lo fund reseorch
into how the risk of HIV inteclion omong women in developing couniries con be reduced. /25
2005. BBC

Nicholos Negroponie creoled One loplop per Child lo creoie eclucoiionol opporiunilies for
the world\ pooresl children by providing eqch child with o ruggecl, low cosl, low-power,
connecled loptop wilh conlent ond sofJwore designed for colloborolive, joyful, self
ernpowerecl leorning. The loptops ore speciolly designed lo suile lhe horsh environment lhol
lhese children work in crnd ihey ore cllso pocked wiih softwore oncl octivities lo help ihem
leorn, explore, creoie ond shore.

Ihe Lioht Up The World Foundolion, o non profil orgonisoiion founcled by o Conodion
electricol engineer colled Dove lrvine Hollidoy, hos creoied o cheop whiie lighi LED lomp,
powered by o simple peclol generolor. Eorly efforts brought ihese lo more lhon 700 homes,
schooh ond olher communily buildings in Nepcll. After lhe scheme proved successful,
Hollidoy exponded its reoch, ond lhonks 10 ihe foundcrfion, white lighl LED5 ore now
providing power in more thon 4,000 homes from Angolo to Afghoniston, os well os o iudle
hotchery in lhe Golcrpogos lslonds. flhe Guordionl
SoCiOl gntgfpfises, which ore socioi mission driven orgonisolions which kode in goods
or seryices tor o socio purpose, olso exisi 1o help crclclress ihe poverly problem. They ore
proiii moking businesses sei up io lockle o sociol or environmeniol need. Mony commerciol
businesses would consider lhem5elves 10 hove sociol objecfives, but sociol enlerpdses ore
disiinciive becouse lheir sociol or envlronmenlol purpose is cenlrol lo whol lhey do.

SPOT Toxis is lhe lorgesl loxi fronchise in Bongolore; it hos over 300 toxis ond operoles 24
hours o doy, seven doys o week. ll is the first commerciol rodio loxi operolor in lndio ond wos
sloried for sociol reosons in 1999, in podicLrlor lo encouroge lhe unemployed io seek
employmenl ond for drivers lo become owners. One unique feolure is ihol eoch driver is
encrbled 10 own his own vehicle wilh o slruclured loon over o lhree lo four yeor period.

SPOT sionds tor Self Employment Progromme for Orgonised Tronsporl. ll ho, o aorporota
eniiiy ihot slructures lhe loons for the vehicles, equips lhem with rodios lo o uniformly high
slondorcl, ond koins ond provicles legol ond oncillory suppod lo lhe clrivers. Through lhe
corporoie enlily, it k oble 1o negotioie vehicle leoses wilh mcljor bqnks like Clcl on beholf ot
lhe cirivers, mosl ol whom hove no creclil history oncl would nol hove occess lo credii on
iheir own. /Km, Ion ond Brion Gtiffilhs. Fighling Poverty thtough Enlerprisel

Microfinoncing Focilities inot moy nor moy nol be commerciol enierprises hove
providecl lhe poor wiih o lifeline lo iurn lheir lives oround.

lero--".n gonL lcg), *f i.h relies on clonor funding ond slole sLrbsidies, hos creolecl o
I oo*inq tvrfu- tj"recl on muiuol lrutl, occounlobililt, poriicipoiion ond crecrlivity. li serves
lhe neecls of ihe poor who hcrve been kept oulside the bonking orbil on ihe ground thot
they ore poor onci hence nol bonkoble. As of November 2008, it hos 7.64 million borowers,
9/ perceni oi whom ore women. With 2,536 bronches, GB provicles services in 83,415 villoges,
covering more lhon 99 percenl of the loiolvilloges in Eonglodesh.

Grorneen Bonk's posiiive impocl on ih poor oncl formerly poor borrowers hos been
documenied in mony independent sludies corriecl oul by externol ogencies inclucling the
World Bonk, lhe lnlernoilonol Food Reseorch Policy lnstitute (lFPRl) ond ihe Bonglodesh
l^s ilJl- o' Deve opm-rr SlLcl e' {BlD5).

Eouilv Bonk, o homegrown cornpony lhol is o purely commerciol venlure, hos lurned lhe
finonciol services induslry on ils heod. For decodes mullinolionols such os BorcJoys ond
Siondord Chorlered clominoled Kenyo\ bonking secior by focusing olmosi solely on lhe
midcle ond upper closses. Equiiy wenl ihe opposite woy. lt torgeied ihe unbonked poor
''lhe wotchmen, tomolo sellers oncl smclll scole formers whom Mwongi lisls os typicol
cuslorners wilh cheop sovings crccounls ond microloons bocked by unusuoi guoronlees. {2
.lonuory 2009, The Guordion)

Micro credil hos proved io be on imporlonl liberoting force in socielies where women in
porliculor hove lo slruggle ogoinsl repressive sociol ond economic condiiions. Economic
growih ond politicol democrocy connol ochieve their full poientiol unless lhe fernole holi of
humonily porticipotes on on equol footing with the mole. fl3 Octaber 2006, Associoled
On 25 September 2008, world leoders come logeiher in New York convened by the UN
Secrefory- Generol ond the Presidenl of the IJN Generol Assembly io renew commiimenls to
ochieving lhe Millennium Development Gools by 2015. rhe eisni soots
ore io erodicole exlreme poverly ond hunger, lo ochieve universol primory ecjucolion, lo
promote gender equolily crnd ernpower wornen, to reduce child morlolily, lo improve
molernol heolth, lo combol HIV/AIDS, molorjo ond olher diseoses, to ensure environmenlol
susioinobilily ond io develop o globol portnership for developmenl. Vorious Uniled Notions
{UN) Agencies hove become o mojor source of mullilolerol oid, moinly in lhe form of
lechnicol ossisionce. (Reler lo htlp://www.un.org/milJenniumgools for the list of porlnenj

Monelory lniliqlives tike the 0.7% Tqrqet. tn Ocrober 1970. the Unired Notions
Generol Assembly odopled Resolulion 2626,Ihe lnlernofionol Development Sirolegy for the
Second Uniied Nolions Deve/opment Decdde. Through lhe resolution, deVeloped
counlrios hove qgreed to increose lheir resource flows to
developing couniries to o level equivolent Io 1% of lheir GNP ond
thot o minimum ot 0.7% of GNP would bre mode up of officiol
develOpmenl OSsislOnCe ond to work 1o reoch these qoots by t975.

Even though these lorgeis ond ogendos hove been set, yeoT Oftef yeOf, OImOSI Oll
rich nolions hove conslonlly foiled to reoch their ogreed
obligotions of lhe O.7% torget. tnsteod oI al%. Ihe omount of oid hos been
oround 0.2 lo 0.4%, some $100 billion shori. The closesl lhe Conodion governmenl hos ever
come lo meeting ihis gool wos in 1975, when 0.53% of cNl wos commilled lo ODA
occording to Governmenl of Conodo siolistics. ln 2005, Conodo commilted 0.34% of its cNl
to ODA. Only o few counlries hove monoged to reoch their 0./% commiimenl. Ihese
countdes include Denmork {0.85%1, Luxembourg {0.83%), Neiherloncls (0.73%), Norwoy (0.8/%)
ond Sweden 1O.78%l 12404 petcenloges) Recently, lhere wos on EU pledge io spend 0.56%
of GNI on poverly reduction by 2010, ond 0.7%by 2O15.
Tlode Tolks like World Trode Orqonisotion Trode Tolks in Doho, which wos tounched
in 2001 with the expicii inleniion of putting the inierests of poor coirnl es 01 ihe heort oi
globol lrode in order lo lockle poveriy. Developing counfries wont io prolecl millions of lheir
pooresl formers oncl demond rich countdes slosh iheir $l00bn progromme of form subsidies
which leod io food rnounloins ond excess crops dumped onio morkets in poor coLrntries.
Insiecid. rich counlries did lhe opposile ond continued to push for on
unfoir deol lhoi would hove increosed unemployment ond
pOVefty. Rich nolions olso wonled poor counlries to liberolize o hosi oi lheir domesiic
morkels - from fisheries, 1o oulomobies, leoiher goods io bonking services. ll wos no sLJrpri5e
ihere wcrs on imposse - poor counlries reolized lhere wos liitle in it for them, ond much lhoi
could horm iheir prospech.
Moneloly lniliolives ike ihe Heovity lndebled poor counlries 0HpC) progrom wos
crlsoinilioled by the nternolionol Moneiory Fund {lMF) ond lhe World Bonk in 1996. HIPC ore
o group oi cleveloping counlries wilh high eveh of poverly ond clebt, clnd which ore eligible
for speciol ossislonce from the IMF ond the World Bonk. The progrom provides debi relief ond
tow'inieresi toons to ihese countries, but ossislonce is conditionol on
notionol governments of these counlries meeting o ronge of
economic monogement ond performonce tcrgets.

Crilics ollocked HIPC os o progrorr designecl by crediiors io proleci crecliiors' interesl,

leoving countries wiih unsusioinoble debl burdens. ncrclequole debi relief f6r such counlries
lTieons ihot they will neecl lo spend more on seNicing debis, rolher lhon oclively invesling in
progroms lhol con reduce poverly.

VLJIlure funds buy up sovereign clebl issued by poor counlries ol o froclion of ils foce volue,
ihen sue ihe countries in courts usuolly in London, New York or Poris - for lheir full foce volue
plus inleresl. Donegol lntemolionol, on offshore vullure fund, bursi inlo the spollight ihis yeor
when il won on oword for $l5m from impoverished Zombio in ihe UK High Courl. Donegol
poid $3m for some old Zombion debt, then sued for 955m, otlhough the London judge
reduced ihe oworcl lo $15m. Bul ihol wos the lip of lhe iceberg. A poper prepored for lhe
MF/World Bonk meeiings ihis week shows lhere ore now gl.8bn of Towsuils ogoinsl poor
couniries where people iypicolly live on less thcrn $l o doy. Eight coses were lounchecl in lhe
posl yeor - five ogoinst Nicoroguo, iwo ogoinsi Comeroon ond one ogoinsi Elhiopio.

Anolher big vullure fund is Ellioli Associoles rLrn by Pou Singer, billionoire donor 1o the former
Presideni Bush ond presidenliol hopeful Rudi Giuliclni. On one occosion, Ellioti spenl $l2m on
"clislressed Peruvion debi in 1996 ond loLlr yeors loler forcecl Peru io poy omosi $5Bm io
redeem ii. He is reputedly worlh t8bn ond coniribufed $300,000 lo Bush's election compoign
in 2000 {obove) ond $l.2m in 2004. He olso boughl sorne oi Congo's debl for gl0m ond sued
for $12lm. The Congolese government wos found io be corrupl ond under US rockeleering
low, Singer moy be oble to cloim tdple domoges, reoping os much os $400m.

Oxfom s heod of legol offoirs -loss Sounders believes lhot vullure funcls should be outlowed
becouse they undermine debt relief initiolives ond ihe finoncing of essenliol services such os
heolih ond eclucolion on which poor people depend. cordon Brown hos olso criticised
vlrllure funcls ond colleci for inlernolionol oclion io ensure thol lhey connol ihrive. He wonls
ihe World Bonk lo help poor counlries eliminole lheir cornmercicll clebts ond creclilors io
iund io help counlries defend lhemse ves. ll7 acbber 2007, The Guordion
Annex A

Birlh Role of CoUntries {Joul-cei U.s. Census Bureou, lnlernolionol Dolo Bose 2Oo7)

. Countdes wilh lhe highest birth roie

Niger 12,894,465 50.2

Moli 11,995,402 49.6

Ugondo 30,262,610 48.l

Afghonislon 31.889.923 46.2

Sierro Leone 6.144,562 45.4

Chod 10.238,8O7 45.3

Burkino Foso 14.326.203 45.3

SomoJio e,llB,773 44.6

Angolo 12,263,59 6 44.5

liberio 3,193.942 43.7

. Corrnlries with the lowesl birth roie

Czech Republic 10,228,744 9.0

Lilhuonio 3,57 5.439 8.9

Bosnio ond Hezegovino 4,552.194 8.8

Austrio I,t99,783 8.7

Guernsey 65,573 8.7

Mocou S-A-R. 456,9A9 8.6

Itoly 5A,14/.733 8.5

Andono 71 ,422 8.5

Germony 82,400,996 8.2

Hong Kong S.A.R. 6,980,412 7.3



United Nations - Department of Economic and SocialAffairs Population Division

Popu Iation Agein g 2006

Number of persons aged 60 years or over
The number of persons aged 60 years or over is estimated to be 688 million jn 2006 and is projected to
grow to almost 2 billion in 2006, at which time the population of older persons will be larger than the
population of children (0 14 years)forthe firsttime in human history. The majority ofthe world,s older
persons reside in Asia (54 per cent), while Europe has the next largest share (22 per cent).
Population aged 60years oroveras percentage oftotal population

One out of every 9 percent is now aged 60 years or over by 2050, and by 2150, 1 out of every 3, will be
aged 60 years or over. The percentage of older persons is currently much higher in the more developed
than in the iess developed regions, but the pace of ageing in developjng countries is more rapid, and
theirtransjtion from a young to an old age structure willoccur over a shorter period.

The oldest old

The older population is itself ageing. Currently, the oldest old (aged 8oyears or over) make up 13 per
cent of the population aged 60 or over. The oldest old are the fastest growing segment of the older
population, and by 2050,20 per cent ofthe older population will be aged 80years orover. The number
of centenarians iaged 100 years or over) is projected to increase 13-fold, from approximately 287,000 in
2006 to 3.7 million by 2050.

Life expectancy at age 60

The world has experienced dramatic improvements in longevity. tife expectancy has increased about 20
years since 1950, to its current level of 66 years. However, there are still large differences in mortality
levels between countries, ln the least developed countries, men reaching age 60 can expect only 15
more years, and women, 17 years, while in the more developed regions, life expectancy at age 50 is 19
years for men and 23 yearsfor women.

Sex ratio
The majority of older persons are women. Because female life expectancy is greater than male life
expectancy, among older persons there are 82 men per 100 women. Among oldest old, there are only
55 men for every 100 women. The ratio of man to woman at older ages is even lower in the more
developed regions i72 men per 1O0 women) than in the less developed regions (88 men per 100 women)
because there are larger differences in life expectancy between the sexes in the more developed regions.

Percentage ofolder persons currently married

Older men are more llkely than older women to be married. While 80 per cent of older men are
currently married, the corresponding figure for older women is at 58 per cent. Most older persons
without a spouse are widowed. Women are more likely to outlive their spouses because they live longer
and are, on average, youngerthantheir husbands,

Per(entage ol oldFr per<ons living dlone

Although many older persons who live alone are socially active and materially secure, those who live
along are more likely to need outside assistance in the case of illness or disability and are at greater risk
of social isolation and poverty. An estimated 14 per cent of the world's older persons live alone. The
proportion is lower for men (8 per cent) than for women (19 per cent) because women are more likely
to be widow_ed. The proportion is lower in the less developed regions (7 per cent) than in the more
developed regions (24 per cent).

Potential support ratio

The potential support ratio iPSR) that is, the number of persons aged 15 to 64 years per person aged 65
years or over, indicates the dependency burden on potential workers. The impact of demographic
ageing is reflected in the PSR, which fel' between 1950 and 2006 from 12 to 9 people in the working
ages per person aged 65 years or over. By 2050, the PSR is projected to fall to 4 persons of working age
per person aged 65 years or over. PSR5 have important implications for social security schemes,
particularly traditional pay-as you-go systems, in which current workers pay for the benefits of current

Statutory retirement age

Men become eligible for full pension benefits at age 65 or over in more than half of all developed
coirntries, while the most common official retirement age for women is between 55 and 60 years in
developed countries. The official retirement age in developing countries is often lower than in
developed countries, most commonly between 55 and 60 years for both men and women. The
differential between developed and developing countries reflects differences in life expectancy, which is
lower in developing countries.

Percentage ofthe older population in the labour force

Countries with high per capita incomes tend to have lower labour force participation rates among older
persons. more developed regions, 22 per cent of men aged 60 years or over are economically active,
compared'nwith 50 per cent in less developed regions. In more developed regions, 11 per cent of older
women are economically active, compared with 19 per cent in less developed regions. Older persons in
less developed regions participate to a greater extent in the labour force, largely owing to the limited
coverage ofsocial security schemes and the relatively low incomes they guarantee when they exist,