Poverty in South America

Poverty in South America

Poverty is a result of people's inability to attain food, shelter, money, clothing, education, and any other essentials towards the well being of living. Many people that are suffering from poverty live in the low income areas known as rural areas.


Poverty in South America is very high, this is because many of the countries have low incomes. All of the countries in South America are greatly affected by poverty. The countries that have the highest rates are Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador. The countries with the lowest rates are Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. All of these countries are trying to reduce poverty, with varying degrees of effort, and success. About 70-75 percent of South America is suffering from poverty. Many of the countries in South America are suffering from poverty due to their economic growth. [The End of Poverty by: Jeffrey D. Sachs, Chapter 2] . The poverty rate in South America has declined in recent years, but the problem is far from disappearing.


There are many different reasons why a country may be in more poverty then others, and also there are reasons on how and why there is so much poverty in South America. Each country has there own internal problems, which leads to their high percentage of poverty. Here are some reasons why each of these countries in South America are suffering from modern and extreme poverty.


Brazil is one of the largest countries in South America, and is also known to have a high poverty rate. Poverty in Brazil is more focused in the north-eastern part of the country. Showing that 60% of poor people live there and the majority of them are ethnic minorities [http://www.dfid.gov.uk/countries/latinamerica/brazil.asp] . Over 40 million Brazilians live on less than $2 a day, and about 20 million are making less than $1 a day [World Bank Country Assistance Strategy 2000] . This is due to the government's low funding because of its poverty rates. Brazil has one of the most unequal distributions in the world. Their economy is not strong due to its high rate in poverty. Their inflation rates are rather high because the value of their money keeps increasing making it much harder to attain jobs. Their unemployment rate is low due to their poverty problem that the country is suffering from. The country can not afford to employee every individual because there is just not enough money to go around. This is why many of the people are poor and live in poverty. Another factor is individual’s households, the more children that families have there is a greater chance of these families not meeting their financial needs. The income rates are very low and this is also another reason on why almost half of this country is in extreme poverty. This country is trying to reduce poverty like any other country, but it takes time and money in order for this problem to be fully solved. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206734~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


This country suffers from severe poverty, having 95% of the population in extreme poverty. The poverty problem in this country like any other is located in the rural areas of the country. The reason for poverty in this country is due to lack of low education and the problems within the country. This country offers no safety net to the poor unless you are a female or a child. The safety net helps them with the internal problems that the country is suffering from such as: low health care, and nutrition. These poor people are malnutrition because of the lack of money that they are making. They can not afford health insurance and the proper needs to survive. With these social programs that this country has to offer can maybe help improve the poor people from being in such severe poverty. The country wants to improve themselves and with the opportunity of these certain programs that are being offered, there is a greater chance of reducing poverty. The country has problems with sanitation and water pollution. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Bolivia] This is also another reason why the government needs to offer some kind of health care plan because these poor people live in filth and it is more likely for them to catch disease. That is why having these social programs can be a positive effect on this country. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206713~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


This country is known for its oil boom during the 1970s. The downside of this country is its high poverty rates. This country may consume money from having a high demand in oil, but this does not necessarily mean that they are free from poverty. The income generated from the oil is not adequate enough to sustain the countries poverty. There is about 35% of the population that live in poverty and about 17% that are vulnerable to it. One and half million Ecuadorians live in extreme poverty, because they can not meet the proper standards of living. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Ecuador] This country has high rural poverty. There is a higher malnutrition rate in this country causing child mortality rates. This reason is because the families are unemployed and can not provide their children with the right necessities of living. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20207570~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


This country is rich in resources, because of its oil sector. [http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/english/regions/americas/ven/index.htm] The downside to this country is that the agriculture and manufacturing is decreasing. Their labor productivity is decreasing making a low economic growth and this is leading to higher unemployment rate. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20208460~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] There are 11 million poor people and out of that 11 million about 5 million of them are extremely poor. This means that 70% of the population is poor and 12% of them live in rural areas. These rates make this country one of the top countries in poverty. In the rural areas of this country there is no running water and electricity and this makes it harder for the poor to survive. Living in such low economic standards is a awful way to live. The government needs to come up with plans that can better the lives of the poor and especially lower the rates of poverty. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Venezuela]


This country has high poverty due to low income, high inflation, low education, high unemployment and there is no safety net for the poor. The poor does not have any access to any health plans, the people that get the safety net are only the employed. This country can not afford health insurance and any other special need services to the poor, because they are barely making it by with the employed people. This country had a downfall in year 2002 called the Convertibility Plan. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206723~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] This plan involved the freezing of bank deposits and the default on foreign debts and this resulted in high inflation. This crisis brought down the country hard and this also lead to higher poverty rates. Before this event had happened the country was trying to reduce poverty. The government was working on ways to reduce poverty. The government is spending about 18% on social programs for the poor to better their living standards. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Argentina] They were also lowering the term of poverty and this was bringing positivity to the country, by having more job opportunities for the poor and improving the human capital. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206684~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


This country suffers from high urban extreme poverty. Usually extreme poverty is in the rural areas, but for this country it is in both areas, making this country one of the highest countries suffering from extreme poverty in South America. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20207551~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] There is no safety net for the poor, meaning that they have no health insurance and this leads to child malnutrition and higher infant mortality rates. Since this country is in high extreme poverty they have a higher crime rate then the other countries. The government to trying to reduce the poverty rate by putting together social programs so that the poor can better their lives. Their poverty reduction strategy needs to focus on these three components a) rural development, b)social and infrastructural services and c)decentralization. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Colombia] This country feels that if they put their main focus on these particular issues then maybe it could end poverty in this country. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20207550~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


Poverty is high in the rural area of this country with 66% of the population are poor and 37% are extremely poor. This country suffers from low incoming jobs, poor teaching skills in the rural areas, no full benefits for the primacy health care and chronic problems that the country has. The poor people are at greater risks for health illness because of the rural area that they live in due to the lack of clean water and sanitation. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20208438~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] The population has grown and this is causing more poverty because the country is becoming over crowded. Over the last few years Peru is showing a little improvement with the social welfare system and the consumption poverty rates. The social welfare system is reaching more out to the poor because the government is receiving more funding. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Peru] The consumption poverty rates are slightly lower from 19% to 15%, but there are still millions of Peruvians suffering from severe poverty. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20208434~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html]


This country has one of the lowest poverty rates, making this country more developed and function able. Only 17% of the population lives in poverty and about 4% live in extreme poverty. These numbers show that this country is not suffering from high poverty. Chile has shown positive improvements in reducing poverty through life expectancy rates, infant mortality rates, education rates, and housing rate. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206749~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] Chile's economy is rapidly growing and this positive change helps the government improve in their weaknesses. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20206747~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] This country also promotes social programs to help the poor. There is still poverty in this country and that is due to the low education rates, and the income inequality rates, because they all still remain high. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Chile]


Poverty does not play a huge factor in Uruguay compared to neighboring countries. The monthly earnings in this country are $158 American dollars or $100 dollars depending on which area you live in. The unemployment rate is high; therefore the government wants to increase real wages and salaries to reduce the poverty rate. Their labor tax is very high in order to cover for social security needs. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20208445~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] Uruguay has a good social safety net helping the people in need and this helps the country fight from being in poverty. This country is an up and coming country that is defeating poverty in a rapidly pace. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Uruguay]


This country is also one of the lowest countries suffering from poverty. Their economy is more developed then other countries and only 20% of the population is poor and 4% is very poor. The low level poverty that this country deals with is low education, migration, language and that there is no official welfare system. Their water and sanitation conditions are also low and this leads to the poor getting sick from the unsanitary way of living. [http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20207843~isCURL:Y~menuPK:435735~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html] In this country the positive effects rides out the negative effects making this country more developed then others. [World Bank Poverty Assessment Paraguay]


Will Poverty Ever End?

Author Jefferey D. Sachs believes that poverty will end in the year 2025. There are a few ways that he feels extreme poverty will end in 2025. First reason was that in year 2002 the UN members signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, their target for this goal was to have poverty cut in half by the year 2015. The second achievement they that wanted to achieve was to finally end poverty in 2025, with the help from wealthier countries contributing their wealth to the poorest countries. By the year 2025 he feels that the world's poorest countries should be more economically development. [Sachs,Chapter 2 p25] Sachs did studies that showed the differences between all the countries throughout the entire world and South America was categorized as one of the lowest income continents, with the average making between $2000-$4000. [Sachs, Chapter 2 p. 49] This income range was for only certain parts of the country, involving the countries that were suffering the most from extreme poverty. Sachs's felt that the family income per capita can increase the families income and also can help play a huge factor in reducing poverty rates. This was divided into four categorizes: saving, trade, technology and resource boom. If people can achieve these four components then they have a chance of not living a life in poverty and actually having a chance to a successful life. These four components may not work for every individual, because some people do not own their own land where they can grow and trade their goods. This way of producing an income can be beneficial and also not beneficial depending on the families possessions. Sachs also referred to a checklist on how this world can end poverty. He looked at the poverty trap, which focused on where the poverty was happening and why it might be happening. For such reasons as spatial distribution of household poverty, spatial distribution of basic infrastructure and the lacking of basic needs. The second is the economic policy framework, which involves the business environment, trade policy, investment policy, infrastructure, and the human capital. The third is the fiscal framework and fiscal trap, this includes the macroeconomics of the country and their public sector. The fourth is the physical geography, which is transport conditions, population density, agronomic conditions and disease ecology. The fifth is the government patterns and failure, these components are political rights, decentralization, cultural divisions and corruption. The sixth is the cultural barriers that involve gender relations, ethnic divisions and diaspora. The last category is the geopolitics this focused on the international security relations, cross border security threats, international sanctions and the trade barriers. [Sachs, Chapter 4 p. 86] All of these seven components are a way to diagnosis the problems that each of these countries may have. Sachs feels that this is a positive way of helping these countries that are in need to become more economically developed. This checklist can help low developing countries, by improving their standards of living and also help the country decrease poverty. Jeffery Sachs discovered many different reasons on why and how poverty is developed and with his findings he also wanted to find a solution. The information that he gathered through his study made him believed that the end of poverty could and would happen in year 2025. [The End of Poverty, Jeffery Sachs]


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