Let’s just do these simple things. Close your eyes and think about the people in your neighborhood. Are their clothes the same? How about their houses, can everyone afford a prosperous and sheltered house? Even if these people live close to each other, their lives are totally different. Now, put yourself in those low-income people’s shoes. What obstacles do they face both inside and outside of their house? What do they feel about their situation? What are their dreams? How do they see life? Finally, I want you to imagine a world with no economic gap between people. How would that be?
Global poverty is one of the worst issues that the world faces for a long time. Even though the rate of people living in extreme poverty decreased between 1990 and 2015, many people are still struggling from poverty. By year 2015 one person in every 10 people lived off less than 1.90 $ per day, which can be seen from the World Bank report. Recent estimates for global poverty are that 9.2% of the world, or 689 million people, live in extreme poverty on $1.90 or less a day, according to the World Bank. Nineteen countries worldwide, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, have poverty rates over 50%. Throughout the world, poverty even became more crucial in COVID-19 pandemic due to the fact that lots of people lost their jobs. Roughly four-in-ten adults say that they or someone in their household lost a job or wages due to COVID-19.
Extreme poverty has a major negative effect on countries. First of all, poverty reduces a child’s readiness for school, diminishes a child’s ability to concentrate and remember information, and reduces curiosity and motivation to educate themselves. One of the most crucial effects of poverty is that poor children enter school with a knowledge gap between their peers, and it grows as they get older. Children isolate themselves from society because they feel insecure of their socioeconomic status. Also, one of the biggest reasons why children lack motivation in education is because they are discouraged from the cycle of poverty in their family; therefore, they lack the feeling of hope. According to research, children from lower-income families are more likely to get lower test results and drop out of school than students from wealthier backgrounds. Additionally, people who complete high school are less likely to attend college than students from higher-income families. Families with low-income prioritize meeting their basic needs, such as paying for rent and supplying food, so there is no money left to spend on education.
Secondly, poverty affects health by limiting access to proper nutrition, clean air, and water. People living in poverty can not afford to buy nutritious food, so they will buy a cheaper and less healthy alternative. A poor diet can have a big impact on a person’s health. Malnutrition, respiratory disease, diarrhea, and skin problems are some common illnesses caused from poverty. Also, the health care system in these countries is not as advanced, as expected, as that in high-income countries, making these low-income countries unable to cure various diseases. African countries face a great deal in this problem. According to the mortality estimates by UNICEF, an estimated 6.3 million children died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable diseases.
“Without urgent action, 56 million children under five will die from now until 2030 – half of them newborns,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy. “We have made remarkable progress to save children since 1990, but millions are still dying because of who they are and where they are born. With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child”. Lots of children, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, lose their lives since they are unable to reach sufficient medicine. They do not die because of an illness; they die because of poverty.
Lastly, criminal behavior and criminal victimization are other major consequences of poverty. People, who are hopeless and frustrated of living in poverty, tend to join a gang in their neighborhood. Children are more likely to grow up under the influence of older peers who are already in gangs or committing crime. According to research, more than 2 million people now in the nation’s prisons come from poor backgrounds.
The effects of poverty are critical and undeniable. Organizations such as the World Bank and World Vision work eagerly to reduce the rates of poverty by the year 2030. However, it is not enough. We, as individuals, should do something about this issue as well. We should seek solutions to make life better for people living in those countries. We should prioritize other people’s well being and happiness as well. We can join some organizations that fight for the motive to increase the well-being of people in low-income countries. We can do volunteer jobs (teacher, doctor…) in these countries. Even though it seems impossible for one person to change a whole country, we can make it if we work together.
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[Author removed at request of original publisher]. “2.4 The Consequences of Poverty.” Social Problems, University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing Edition, 2015. This Edition Adapted from a Work Originally Produced in 2010 by a Publisher Who Has Requested That It Not Receive Attribution., 25 Mar. 2016, open.lib.umn.edu/socialproblems/chapter/2-4-the-consequences-of-poverty/.