Poverty | IYMS


My Home, My Dish

Afghan children line up for food distributed by UNICEF at Maslakh refugee camp, approximately 6 miles west of Herat in western Afghanistan. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images) Image source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/opinion/afghanistanhealthfood-10066.html

Author: Magda Wyszynska

I was thinking about what is good example of poverty. I cannot really tell you something new when it comes to this topic. We all know so many people starve in Africa. Sometimes people say: Oh, I overate. That meal was like one-week food consumption of Somalian kid. Another thing is health – we don’t think about it when we are in good shape. And when something is wrong – just call the doctor and walk for 5 minutes to the nearest drug store. Millions of people continuously suffer because of health-related problems that we can fix in couple of days in the western world. A home? Who doesn’t have one? Try to imagine survival without access to clean water. So my examples of poverty are commonly known, but recent. Just to remind you of the significance and the scale of the problem.

Eat or Die Famine levels Image Source: http://www.economist.com/node/21524864

Imagine you are living in the village of Mogadishu. You wake up in the morning. The sun is in the sky, warming your skin with its beams. You go to the bathroom to wash your face. You enter the kitchen to eat your breakfast. Cereals? Pancakes? Sandwich and orange juice? No, there is no kitchen. There is no breakfast. There is nothing to kill your hunger. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) announced a famine threat in November 2010. After 8 months the aid with 10 tons of nuts landed in Mogadishu in Somalia. What does the famine actually mean? There are standards for this cataclysm. It is declared when: · 30% of children are actually malnourished · 20% of the population is without food · and deaths are running at two per 10,000 adults or four per 10,000 children every day In southern Somalia malnutrition exceeded 38% in most areas—a catastrophic rate. About 2.8 million people are thought to need immediate life-saving help. They need help. For now there are two main problems – donors and the policy of the country. Financial help is not big enough. Brazil promised more than Germany and France together. Italy offered nothing. Then comes the trouble with Shabab, an Islamist militia that blocks food aid from “anti-Muslim” aid agencies. From 2008 fourteen aid agency staff people were killed. Ethiopia’s government will never admit there is famine in the country: to do so would be to say it had failed since 1985. Famine is catastrophic here. In 80s it affected 8 milion. 1 million died. This time 11 million are affected. How many deaths will it bring? Two year old girl dying from starvation in Tanzania, Africa


Epidemics Image Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/globaldevelopment/2011/nov/17/choleraoutbreakdadaabrefugeecomplex

November 2011. Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. 60 people had been diagnosed. Last month UN announced the epidemic threat of cholera. Refugees were displaced from Somalia due to the famine disaster. Now they still suffer severe food and water shortage and housing problems. The disease is just the consequence of the terrifying living situation. Now half a million of camp inhabitants are under a serious threat. The risk is rising especially when the delivery of pure water is problematic due to the floods. Then people are forced to use unsafe sources of water. Cholera is a painful intestinal infection caused by bacteria. It spreads through water that has been in contact with the fecal matter from an infected person. It effects in diarrhea and vomiting , and in most cases it leads to mortal dehydration. Besides the political and economical situation makes the situation much worse. There is big tension across the Kenyan and Somalia border. Recently the terrorist kidnapped aid workers. All these factors seriously affect the aid services for refugees and raise risk of waterborne diseases. Refugees already arrive in the camp in critical health conditions. The diseases spreads rapidly, reaping colossal harvest.

‘F’ for ‘Favela’


Favelas in Brazil Image Source: http://www.awakeinmydreams.com/archives/527

According IBGE – The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, favelas are “subnormal agglomerations” of inhabitants without irregular occupation and lack of public services or urbanization. Basically it is a shanty town in Brazil. In 2010 generally 11.4 million people lived in favelas. According to the last census that makes around 6% of the Brazilian population. The famous movie “City of God” shows its reality. Recent beautiful document “Waste Land” shows the project of remaking huge size world-wide images from the rubbish by trash collectors from favelas. Every third fevelado does not have access to sanitation. Brazil has one of the highest rates of inequality – the top 10 percent of population earn 50 percent of the national income and about 8.5 percent of all people are living below the poverty line. Most of them live in the towns of poverty – favelas. The biggest problems are violence, drug usage and unemployment. Edilson Ferreira de Oliveira lives there with his 3 daughters “Every day I go to work and see so many girls lost in life, hanging around in bad company,” he says. “I think of my daughters every time I see them.

I always try to make sure my girls have something to do, something to keep them busy when they’re not in school so that I always know where they are.” He likes to tell people that his oldest daughter is learning to steer clear of trouble on her own – “she will immediately walk away from any crowd if someone lights a joint”. “It’s hard to raise girls here” Oliveira says. “But it’s easier than raising boys. He had a son. His name was Gean, and he was shot dead when he was 13 years old during a police raid”. Residents of Rio de Janeiro stage public demonstrations to call attention to the violence they say has claimed the lives of 1,000 people so far this year. Image Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/world/specials/favelas/march.html

Rio de Janeiro and San Paulo have the biggest favelas and are trying to get rid of them. Within the last 60 years favelas have spread and are 2,5 times bigger now. Most of the land is inhabited illegally, however is there any solution for the people living there? Are they given any supplementary accommodation? Rio de Janeiro – Ghetto (Favela) Movie source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZW9QlBTIuY  References:

  1. Favela. (2005). In Chambers Dictionary of World History. Retrieved fromhttp://www.credoreference.com/entry/chambdictwh/favela
  2. http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/1024307-censomostraque-6-dapopulacaoviveemfavelasesimilares.shtml
  3. Brasiltem 16,27 milhõesdepessoasemextremapobreza, dizgoverno (in Portuguese). G1. 05-03-2011. Retrieved 12-23-2011.
  4. UN confirms cholera outbreak in Dadaab refugee camps, Liz Ford, Guardianhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/globaldevelopment/2011/nov/17/choleraoutbreakdadaabrefugeecomplex


Walk to end poverty

Author: Magda Wyszynska

Seven Found



What do you think of when you hear the word poverty? No money? No food? No water? No humanity?

Every three and a half seconds one person dies due to hunger-related causes (1). About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. That means they cannot afford basic needs such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education and shelter.

Millions experience relative poverty lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country (2).

Today, poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

Feed Kitsap

Lack of Money

Poverty relates directly to the lack of money. In the image below you can see how it is spread around the globe. The map shows the percentage of population that earns less than 1,25$/1E  per day (2008). The most significantly affected countries are central and south Africa and southern Asia. This means that 20% of the world population is severely affected by poverty (3).


Percentage of population living on less than 1,25$/day 2007-2008


Six million children die of hunger every year. Every third death is caused by hunger-related diseases. Every seventh person always goes to sleep hungry. The greatest occurrence is India – nearly half of all Indian children are undernourished.

Food is the first need that every poor person uses his/her money for. However, there are many other problems, such us drought and soil degradation. In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent might be able to feed just 25% of its population by 2025, according to the United Nations University’s Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (4).

Percentage of Undernourished Population World Map (2007)



The World Bank report “Global Economic Prospects” predicts that in 2030 the number of people living on less than the equivalent of $1 a day will fall by half. According to the report the poorest population will raise in Africa.


Beside undernourishment and malnourishment, there many other health problems poor people face. There are six most recognized severe diseases:

  • AIDS – kills one person every 20 seconds
  • Pneumonia – kills one person every 20 seconds
  • Diarrhea – kills one person every 20 seconds
  • Tuberculosis – the greatest harvest in history of humankind
  • Malaria – kills one person every 30 seconds
  • Measles – kills one person every 30 seconds

Another significant health-related problem is the death rate of pregnant women. Nearly 90% of maternal deaths occur in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (5).

Another problem related to poverty is low life expectancy in the poorest countries. The average lowest life expectancy is in Africa. In Angola and Zambia it is below 40 years of age.


Life expectancy map for 2008



Lower Chances

 War on Want

Poverty is followed by other basic lacks or problems considering education, justice, housing. Millions of people live in the slums or favelas (Brazil). This leads to social inequalities and frustrations. Personal and group conflicts, violence, crime and addictions are all partly consequences of the bad financial situation.

The World Bank’s “Voices of the Poor,” based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, identifies a range of factors which poor people identify as part of poverty. These include:

  • Precarious livelihoods
  • Excluded locations
  • Physical limitations
  • Gender relationships
  • Problems in social relationships
  • Lack of security
  • Abuse by those in power
  • Dis-empowering institutions
  • Limited capabilities
  • Weak community organizations

David Moore, in his book The World Bank, argues that some analysis of poverty reflect pejorative, sometimes racial, stereotypes of impoverished people as powerless victims and passive recipients of aid programs.




Word organizations have been searching and applying different solutions for many years. Many humanitarian organizations changed strategies from distributing food and basic needs products packages into introducing long term development strategies.


During the Millennium Summit in the year 2000, the United Nations made a declaration stating that every individual has the right to dignity, freedom, equality, a basic standard of living that includes freedom from hunger and violence, and encourages tolerance and solidarity. Based on this, 193 United Nation member states agreed on achieving eight international development goals – MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS by the year 2015.


Millennium Development Goals

Working Together For Change

This is the breakthrough program in fighting poverty, with clear intentions, aims and deadlines. But the most important is the awareness that the massive actions start from the individual.

We all deserve to live. We all need to eat, sleep well, be healthy, get education, be treated fair and with dignity. We all have the right to live. Poverty means to me that some of these things are not working. Some of these things are beyond some people’s reach. Being a man means to me to be able to imagine that some things are given to us randomly. And sometimes we are not given or we are taken away things that are essential for existence. Also incidentally. Therefore we reflect and have compassion. That means we are well off mentally. There are only social and maternal aspects that need to change.

United Nations Millenium Development Goals

  Notes and References:

UN report

  1. Poverty (sociology). britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  1.  “The World Bank, 2007, Understanding Poverty”. Web.worldbank.org. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2010-10-24
  2. “Africa may be able to feed only 25% of its population by 2025”. News.mongabay.com. Retrieved 2010-10-24
  3. “The causes of maternal death”. BBC News. 1998-11-23. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  4. United Nations Millenium Development Goals

Image 1: Image Source: http://www.sevenfund.org/enterprise-solutions-poverty.html

Image 2: Image Source: http://feedkitsap.org/?cat=3

Image 3: Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Percentage_population_living_on_less_than_1_dollar_day_2007-2008.png

Image 4: Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Percentage_population_undernourished_world_map.PNG

Image 5: Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Life_Expectancy_2008_Estimates_CIA_World_Factbook.png

Image 6: Image Source: http://www.waronwant.org/support-us/other-ways-to-help/legacy/11907

Image 7: Image Source: http://wtfc.giving.officelive.com/MDG.aspx

Image 8: Image Source: http://womensphilanthropy.typepad.com/stephaniedoty/2010/03/we-can-end-poverty-2015-millenium-development-goals.html