What are the root causes of the poverty and hunger in Africa? Generally speaking, there are a several Key reasons for the poverty stricken state in Africa, such as; harmful economic systems, conflict, environmental factors and population growth. The reason for the hunger is the poverty itself, of course. Interestingly the measure of poverty in the US is based on the lack of having those goods and services commonly taken for granted by members of mainstream society or in other terms, it is a measure of income inequality as in having significantly less access to income and wealth than other members of society. Many people who are suffering in the US due to the most recent down turn in the economy are often better off than poor people from Africa. Of course for those in the US, let’s say in Las Vegas which is a US city that has been especially hurt by the economic down swing, who are scanning the internet since their home is being repossessed by the bank, probably aren’t thinking: “I am so much better off than the poor in Africa, so my situation isn’t that bad!” However,it is true to some extent. Although undernourished is an issue for many of the poor in the US as is the threat of violence in many poor neighborhoods, at least in the US there are some safety nets for the very poor. In Africa the outlook is much more dire.
Let’s review the underlying issues that we just discussed.
– Poverty –
This is the principle reason for wide spread hunger in Africa as well as elsewhere. Plainly speaking people do not have enough income to purchase the food they need to live. There are other causes that can contribute to hunger such as draught but the most typical situation is that most people do not have a sufficient income. A 2008 report shows 47% of the people of sub Saharan Africa live on $1.25 per day or less.
– Harmful Economic Systems –
Some believe the underlying cause of poverty is the regular operation of the world economy & political systems in general. The control of resources & income is based on economic, military and political power which usually is controlled by a very few, who live very well, while the majority can barely even survive. One way that those who are in positions of power obtain their income can be through widespread corruption.
– Conflict –
The principle source of human misery on this planet is CONFLICT. Not all refugees are caused by conflict or violence but most of them are. The poverty rate of countries affected by repeated cycles of violence over the last 30 years is an average of 20% higher than those without & in some cases much higher. People who live in counties that are currently being affected by violence are 2 times more likely to me undernourished and 50% more likely that they are impoverished. The children of such countries are 3 times as likely not be in school. The threat of violence causing serious injury or death is cause enough for people to leave their homes which requires they leave nearly everything & everyone you care about. People lose their house & land, possessions & income to go on a dangerous journey in search of safety which usually leads to a very meager existence in a refugee camp struggling to survive.
– Environment –
Environmental challenges such as erosion, desertification, deforestation & worst of all draught are ravaging Africa. These factors have risen poverty and hunger because the reduce the production of agriculture which directly effects income. The environment has been exploited by humans which has caused many of these challenging factors.
– Population Growth –
The population of Africa has been increasing rapidly. It has grown from 221 million people in 1950 to 1 billion people in 2009. Africa has the largest population rate growth & is the world’s poorest continent. This rapid growth is a major contributor to the growing hunger & poverty there.