Sociology: Causes and Effects of Poverty
Basically, poverty is not about having insufficient funds to buy basic needs. It is not always monetary. Poverty as described by World Bank, is hunger, lack of shelter, get sick and unable to seek medical attention, lack clothing, inability to have access to education and being illiterate. World Bank also see poverty as lack of jobs and gainful economic activities, and fearing for the future thus living in uncertainty.
Lack of leisure and recreational activities is a part of poverty. Poverty deprives children the right to grow and uphold healthy social interactions. For instance, a poor household cannot afford to give their children money to attend school trips, friends’ functions like birthdays, getaways during school holidays, among other life necessities. This denies such children the opportunity to bond and make new friends.
Are causes and effects of poverty related?
When a family cannot afford food and medication, their social interactions are strained. You cannot go mountain climbing with neighbors when you are sick and hungry. Poverty causes other social stratification, class segregation and discrimination. Though no one likes to be poor, poverty denies one social privileges like respect and dignity.
Different countries experience poverty differently. Causes and effects of poverty are relative and case specific. Some countries are poor because they do not have economically viable natural resources to improve the socio-economic status of their people. Others have such resources but they do not have the structural capacity to exploit them. In Africa, many countries depend on Direct Foreign Investments so as to mine and manufacture minerals and natural resources. Coupled with poor and weak political leadership-corruption, pilferage and theft of public funds take place. This affects service delivery to the citizens.
In such countries, abject poverty causes criminality, drug abuse, drug trafficking, pornography and prostitution. Such social vices increase deceases and child mortality, brings homeless families and street children, incarceration, divorce and dysfunctional families.
In America, as posited by United States Census Bureau, 43.1 million citizens lived in poverty in 2015. There was a reduction of 3.5 million people from 2014. This means that there was deliberate efforts by the government to reduce poverty. On the other hand, in Zimbabwe, poverty levels increased by 30% in 2015 as documented by the International Monetary Fund. The increment is attributed to inflation and poor governance.
Poverty has many causes. Each cause affects people differently. In the Arab world, previously economically and politically stable states plunged into leadership crisis and war. The citizens suffered. People were unable to go to school, get medical attention, do business, practice agriculture and even international trade. This has caused malnutrition and food insecurity, closure of schools and hospitals, death of civilians and economic deterioration.
In countries like Syria, terrorism and the rise of radicalized religious groups has caused slavery and human trafficking. This has caused more poverty and suffering in the society.
It is true, no matter the angle at which we look poverty from, it is not desirable. It demeans human life and existence. The global village needs to join hands to ameliorate the vice and make the world a better place for everyone to live in. Child mortality should be reduced, education reach everyone, war and conflicts be resolved.
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