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Poverty

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Submitted By stevenmahugu
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Poverty as a Global Issue
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Introduction
The word poverty is familiar to every person living under the sun. Everyone understands the meaning. However, the specific meaning attached to that word is dependent on the concepts of poverty that are present in the mind. Poverty can be conceptualized in many distinct ways. Each way leads to a marked out understanding of the significance of the term. The simplest definition states that, poverty is a lack of the basic means of survival. Poor people are not able to put food on the table and they face death as a consequence. Many studies suggest that the definition of poverty as absolute lack is of relevance in regions where the income is low. In other regions, the living standards could be higher. Such countries experience apparent reductions and rapid growth. The definition of poverty in such regions is subject to change.
Globally, more than 3 billion people use less than 2.5 USD in a day, while approximately 1.3 billion use 1.25 USD or less. In a nut shell, more than a half of the world’s population is living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 1 billion children in the whole world are living in poverty and 22,000 children die on a daily basis as a result of poverty. More than 800 million people worldwide are lacking food. Some other 750 million people lack access to drinking water. The lack of clean water often leads to diarrhea which kills some 842000 people globally. The figure can also be translated to 2300 people in a day. 165 children below the age of 5 years were stunted in year 2011. According to W.H.O the hunger experienced by many has trapped them in immense poverty. The main cause of death in the world is hunger. Hunger devours more people than a combination malaria, HIV/AIDS, as well as tuberculosis. The stated facts are a clear proof of the extent of how poverty has become so widespread (Dosomething.org,. 2015).

Looking at poverty from a global perspective
Poverty is being recognized as more than the simply a lack of basic needs. Poverty can manifest itself through the lack of material possession and the end result is poor mental and physical health. As well as restricted economic mobility. Poverty has the potential of reducing economic productivity and it risks the improvements in social health (Dixon & Macarov, 2002). Moreover, it is one of the causes of political unrest and social division. Much attention is being focused on the social dimension of poverty. Economic hardships may cause a sense of shame. Poor people suffer from social shame and they are stigmatized. Psychologists consider shame to be the worst emotion because it creates a feeling of powerlessness. Poor people feel useless and incompetent. The shame is not similar to guilt since it is not the doing of the individuals. Shame is a social emotion. It contains structural and individualistic components. The feeling can occur as a reaction to the looming failure in matching the societal expectations. In turn, the feeling can become internalized as an aspiration. It is evident that shame is experienced as a consequence of poverty across different cultures. In Britain, poor people are stigmatized. The word poverty itself expresses a state of a person who is shunned. People living in abstract poverty can describe their everyday ordeals as full of drudgery and struggle. In North America, and Europe, success is judged in the terms of financial gain and poverty is termed as a personal failure.
Women are not in risk of poverty alone. However, they may often find themselves in certain settings that may expose them to poverty-related shame. The cause might be domestic budgeting, child rearing or a lack of hygiene (Sweetman, 2002). Men may also discover that poverty minimizes their ability to meet the norms of manhood. Poor people from any country usually speak of frustrations of not being able to achieve the material aspirations. They also face the task of making hard decisions amid competing demands. For parents, it is hard to escape the shame that is accompanied with failing to provide for the children. Employed people usually compare themselves with those who are not employed. The end result is increased envy and shame. Sometimes, the feelings of shame can prove to be fatal. Some people go ahead and kill themselves just because they feel unfit to live. Shame leads to anger and frustration and sometimes depression.
Roles of developed and developing countries in contending with poverty
Both developing and developed countries play a crucial role in the fight against poverty. Developing countries are dependent on the global economic growth in order to achieve the goal of eradicating poverty. International trade has been recognized as a very powerful tool of alleviating poverty. Trade can do away with extreme hunger and poverty (Unchronicle.un.org,. 2015). This can be achieved by cutting the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day. A partnership between countries can address the needs of developed countries through the reduction of trade barriers, increasing development assistance and improving debt relief. Poverty has been marked as the most debilitating plague of all times. It is evident that in order to cut the number of people living in poverty, developing countries should speed up their economic growth by leaving the doors to their market open. Trade leads to improvement in efficiency in the allocation of resources. Furthermore, it enhances the economic welfare and is a major contributor to the long-term economic growth. Liberalizing economies can face some costs in terms of short term adjustments. This is because, when economies open up, the imports of a specific country make use of the existing channels. At the same time, new opportunities for export come up from the different sectors. This in turn leads to the development of the production capacity.
In the past few years, trade has set strong growth and development in low income countries. The exports of such countries have been growing consistently at an even faster rate than in developed countries. Therefore, growth in export revenues of the developing countries has been stimulated. The fascinating growth in in the exports from the developing countries has been the result of a steady reduction in tariffs globally. Such tariffs have been acting as trade barriers before. However, evidence shows that developing countries are facing very high tariffs and barriers on their export products. Developed countries go ahead to impose tariffs on imports from the developing countries. The tariffs are at times twice as high as those from developed countries. Mauritius has one of the most open economies in Africa is Mauritius. Its exports have been sustained by policies that allow the country to easily adapt to competition. Liberalization of trade can have different effects on poverty. This depends on factors like economic stability and the financial sector (McCulloch, Winters, & Cirera, 2001). Developing countries are supposed to develop their supply capacity in order to open up to competition. As a way of minimizing unemployment, developing countries need to create social safety nets. Workers should be reallocated to the growing sectors. Training policies, education and unemployment benefits programs should be put in place. A reduction in social spending can reduce the unemployment rates. Trade is an essential weapon that can be used to combat poverty as well as speeding up economic growth.
Conclusion
Generally, more than half of the world’s population is living in poverty. Many people cannot access the basic necessities of life. Children are dying of hunger and pestilences. Poor people fail to get access to clean water. Many are unable to put food on the table or to find standard housing for their families. The global perspective of poverty is a negative one. No one likes to be poor. People are ashamed of poverty. Poor people tend to hate themselves. Some get so frustrated to an extent of taking their own lives. The challenge at hand is to find the best way of curbing poverty. Both developing and their developed counterparts play a role in the fight against poverty. Developed countries should assist their developing counterparts grow their economies. This can be achieved through trade. Developing countries should be allowed to export their products at low tariffs. Developed countries should aid their developing counterparts by relieving debt and investing. If such suggestions were to be applied, then poverty can be eradicated forever.

References
Dixon, J., & Macarov, D. (2002). Poverty: A Persistent Global Reality. London: Routledge.
Dosomething.org,. (2015). 11 Facts About Global Poverty | DoSomething.org | America's largest organization for youth volunteering opportunities, with 2,700,000 members and counting. Retrieved 31 March 2015, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty
McCulloch, N., Winters, L. A., & Cirera, X. (2001). Trade Liberalization and Poverty. Washington DC: Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Sweetman, C. (2002). Gender, Development, and Poverty. Oxford: Oxfam.
Unchronicle.un.org,. (2015). Trade and the MDGs: How Trade Can Help Developing Countries Eradicate Poverty. Retrieved 31 March 2015, from http://unchronicle.un.org/article/trade-and-mdgs-how-trade-can-help-developing-countries-eradicate-poverty/

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