Information For Action www.informaction.org
What is poverty?
A person is in poverty when they have little or no money, own very little, and have low living standards. A person living in extreme poverty will not have enough money to meet their basic needs such as:
What could happen because of this?
Thousands of people in poverty die because they do not have the things they need to survive. As well as death, people living in poverty face:
Poor health and a lot of illness.
What is aid?
It is when help is given to a community or a country that has many people living in poverty. Countries that have a lot of money will often lend some of their money to countries that do not have enough.
Which countries are poor, and why are they poor?
Many countries in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East are poor because:
Some people in poorer countries take the money given to their country. They use it to better themselves, rather than the community that they live in.
A large number of people in these countries continue to have babies. Basic needs of the growing number of people can not be met.
Poor farming methods leave fertile soil unusable.
Some countries spend most of their money on armies and war, rather than helping the poor people in the country.
What is world debt?
The total amount of money the poorer countries owe to the richer countries. This can be between US$300 billion ?US$500 billion.
What problems does world debt cause for people in poor countries and for the environment?
These countries are forced to spend huge amounts of money on debt repayments and are unable to help people in their own country living in poverty.
Close to 11 million children die each year in poor countries because of poverty and debt.
Rainforests and other natural resources in these countries are destroyed so that crops can be grown and sold to other countries.
Because so much money is spent on repaying world debt,environmental disasters can not be properly dealt with in these countries.
How can the poorer countries be helped?
Where possible, their debts need to be cancelled by the richer countries.
What can you do to help?
Ask your parents to:
Support and join organizations that are working to cancel world debt.
Write to politicians in their country and ask them to cancel world debt.
All children in the world should have their basic needs met. Appreciate all that you have, and never waste it!