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Causes Of Poverty

By: Lim Shi Hing

Approximately one-fifth of the worlds population lives in absolute poverty. Poverty
stunts the development of a country. There are various causes of world poverty. Poverty is
caused by infectious diseases, exploitation by wealthy companies and the unsuitable
geographical locations.
One of the main causes of world poverty is infectious diseases. Nations in tropical
zones usually have higher rates of plague diseases and lower agricultural productivity,
especially of basic food items, than nations in temperate zones. There are 300 to 500 million
cases of malaria every year and most of the cases are in the tropics. Malaria kills between 1
million and 2.3 million people every year. The countrys economic performance is slowed by
the widespread diseases, where these diseases reduce peoples ability to work. When they
are unable to work, they will not have sufficient income to support their life. There are also
long-term effects-a high incidence of disease can change the age structure of a countrys
population. Wealthy pharmaceutical companies do not willing to carry out research into
vaccines for diseases that are prevalent in the tropics such as Malaria, (Human
immunodeficiency virus) HIV which leads to AIDS(Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
and Tuberculosis, because of the low profits they bring.
The wild ambition of wealthy companies which encourage them to exploit poor
societies is also one of the main cause of world poverty. Wealthy companies set up factories
in poor countries to make items like clothing, but they do nothing to reduce poverty. These
companies are interested only in the revenue which they can make for themselves. They
abandoned the welfare of their workers and give them low pay. In developed countries,
labour-intensive items are sold in high prices and the profit are kept by the companies and
not reinvested to reduce poverty among the workers. Factories set up do not reduce poverty
and dependency but increases it. Underpaid workers will face problems to raise their
families with basic needs such as food, health and education. They do not have the courage
to protest because they fear to lose their jobs.
In addition, unsuitable geographical location is one of the causes for world poverty
too. Worldwide production is highly concentrated in the coastal regions of the temperate
climate zones. The average income of these coastal regions is 2.3 times greater than the
world average. One of the reasons for the wealth is the ease of transporting goods, people
and ideas. Sea trade is cheaper than land or air trade, giving areas near the coastline an
advantage over those inland. This results in the increase of transportation fees, increasing
the usage of money in this field, aiding the repercussion in the crisis of economy. In tropical
zones, pests and parasites that lower agricultural productivity are commonly found. New
strain of grain which is resistant to these problems and vaccines to protect livestock and
raise agricultural productivity must be developed.
The last but not least, everyone should overcome this issue as soon as possible to
create a world that we can live in harmony. This responsibility is not only the governments
but we all as the citizens.