PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPING NATIONS MAY 22, 2013 OVERVIEW OF CURRENT PROBLEMS Most of the poorest people in the world live in countries that are in the “Global South”: developing (growing, but below developed standards), lessdeveloped (may or may not be growing and below developed standards) or underdeveloped (stagnated and below developed standards) Developed country: • High living standards generally distributed • Highly technical infrastructure • Complex and productive economy OVERVIEW Generally speaking, therefore, poverty is associated with less complex economies and less technologically advanced infrastructure. Reasons: • War or civil war • Corruption • Resource curse (dependence on exporting natural resources, often a single such resource– copper, oil, agricultural products which are valuable, but not as valuable as finished products, and which tend to concentrate wealth in a few hands) • Isolated situation that makes domestic and international trade difficult • Current or legacy of colonial and other exploitative economic relationships between area and developed countries OVERVIEW Nature of poverty: • About 1 billion people live in “abject poverty”: people suffering from severe deprivation of basic human necessities, or “extreme poverty”: living on ore less than about $1.25 (37 NT) per day • Highest percentage of people living in abject poverty are located in Africa, though largest absolute number are in South Asia. • Average per capita annual income Africa: $2,000 (approx. 60,000 NT • Average per capita annual income South Asia: $2,700 (approx. 81,000 NT) • Average per capita annual income Taiwan: $20,000 (approx. 600,000 NT) • Average per capita annual income US: $42,600 (approx. 1,280,00 NT) OVERVIEW: GROWTH AND GOALS UN Millennium Development Goals: cut in half the proportion of world’s population living in extreme poverty by half by 2015 • 2007: Global South as a whole, proportion fell from 31% to 20%, but much of this improvement came from China (33% to 14%) and South Asia. But Africa stayed about the same (at 50%) • This is because China and South Asia experienced higher levels of growth during that time. • While in general more people are out of the extreme poverty category, there is still a large and, in absolute terms, growing income gap between North and South (average annual per capita income, South: $5,500; average annual per capita income, North: $31,000) POVERTY AND BASIC HUMAN NEEDS Basic Human Needs: • Food • Clean water • Shelter • Clothing • Medical care • Education (particularly literacy) Problems: Children in Global South: 1 in 4: malnutrition 1 in 5: no safe drinking water 1 in 7: no access to adequate health care 1 in 3: no access to education POVERTY AND BASIC HUMAN NEEDS More general global problems: 1 in 7 people don’t have access to safe drinking water 40% have no access to sanitation 30% of worlds doctors for 75% of world’s population 5% of medical research conducted on problems that affect less developed areas Lack of immunization against deadly disease despite availability of vaccines General lack of resource expenditures on these problems despite the fact that most (education, basic immunization) are very cheap per capita PROBLEMS OF HUNGER • In general, 15% of people globally (about 850 million) are undernourished (lack of needed food that results in a lack of necessary calories) • The largest absolute number is in South Asia (330 million in total); the highest percentage in terms of population is in Africa (23%). • China has done the best in terms of dealing with malnutrition among children; South Asia lags behind and no improvement in Africa since 1990. PROBLEMS OF HUNGER Reasons: • Low per capita income • Movement of people off the land into large cities in search of employment, meaning they cannot subsist by growing food if necessary • Farming on marginal land • Lack of access to modern methods and technology among poorer and smaller farmers • Introduction of commercial farming in colonial and modern times • Movement away from subsistence crops to commercial crops for the world market • Concentration of land in hands of fewer owners, leading to people leaving the land to go to the cities • Natural disasters • Wars and civil wars • Regional overpopulation POSITION OF WOMEN Women also tend to be more vulnerable to problem of poverty given their generally lower social status, assignment of gender roles, and role in reproduction. Also the case that providing women with a chance to succeed has large effects on problems of poverty even though much of their labor is not recorded and used in the calculation of GDP • Important for lowering birthrates in overpopulated countries • Important for providing for the welfare of children and the elderly POSITION OF WOMEN Efforts to reduce poverty by addressing problems pertaining to women: • End discrimination in education • Information regarding health, nutrition and fertility • Raising status of adult women, entry into full citizenship • Provide opportunities, information, financing and infrastructure (childcare) for women to engage in formal economic activities. • Handicraft cooperatives • Microloans • Training in business practices IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES People also attempt to move from less developed to more developed areas, either voluntarily or due to circumstances that force them to leave. Immigrants: people who voluntarily leave their native country in search of better opportunities, generally economic. Refugees are people who have been involuntarily displaced from their homes by war, discrimination or natural disasters. IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES Immigrants may live in poverty because • they are unable to enter the country in which they wish to live, • enter a country illegally and therefore cannot work, or cannot be paid well for work, or • enter a country legally, but do not have the linguistic and other skills, or cultural knowledge, to do well there IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES Refugees have problems in large part because they are unable to enter a country and live a normal life. • They are often contained in camps form which they are unable to leave, • The are often unable to work, • They often have no status • They are often sustained by charitable efforts • They are often subjected to problems that result from overcrowding, including bad sanitation and infectious diseases • They often receive at best inferior educational and training opportunities • They have no permanent status in any non-native country and are expected to return to their country of origin even if that is impossible for several years. • There are approximately 33 million refugees in the world HUMAN TRAFFICKING An associated problem is human trafficking. This is the practice of conveying people across borders either involuntarily or through a payment that is usually discharged through labor. Involuntary trafficking is associated with the sex trade, with those trafficked usually kidnapped or tricked into a compromising situation, then transported to another country and kept involuntarily in degrading conditions. Voluntary trafficking involves the use of people smugglers to get illicit immigrants into a country. However, to pay the debt owed the trafficker, these people often work as virtual slaves for months or years and are also subjected to degrading, impoverished conditions.