Poverty in Africa

Poverty is one of the most widespread problems faced by all underdeveloped and developing countries across the globe. Poverty arises from ignorance of abundance, although poverty in India is slowly reducing, Africa still remains one of the poorest countries of the world with the issue of poverty especially child poverty being sky high.

The word poverty in general means the lack of basic human needs faced by certain segments of the African nations. Life was simple and beautiful in the villages of Africa but over the year’s war, HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty and famine have brought a new concept to Africa.  Weather conditions being extremely intolerable in Africa, huge expanses of land become dry and barren. Poor farmers in order for their subsistence over use the land thus exhausting the soil nutrients, this leads to desertification, famine which ultimately mounts to poverty.

Within the problem of poverty, issue of child destitution is the highest with the fact that most are left alone with no parents, who have died due to starvation, HIV/AIDS or because of the war. 200,000 children are sold as slaves every year. 120,000 are involved in armed conflicts and a large number of children in Africa die before attaining the age of six.

Although there are many rivers and streams in many parts of Africa yet there is the problem of lack of good food and drinking water. Many people fall sick from having the water that is available as that is shared by both people and the farm animals. The water sources in these areas are infested with water related diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, river blindness and guinea worm disease. The guinea worm gets into the body of the drinker, starts growing, this condition causes extreme pain for a prolonged period of time preventing the infected from engaging in routine activities. People are so poor that most of them cannot afford medical care. Sometimes it can also lead to terrible health effects.

Among the other problems, child prostitution and trafficking is also prevalent amongst children as young as 11 years who try to look sexy in mini skirts and skin tight tops. One of the countries believed to be rampant in this respect is Angola. The issue of child labour is also a serious problem in the sub-Saharan region. The persisting problem of child labour in Africa is expected to rise by at least one million new children per year if current economic social trends remain. The ILO estimates that the number of child labourers could surge from today’s 80 million to over 100 million by the year 2015. Numerous people are unemployed in Africa and are suffering in pain.

Thus there is a need to improve the miserable existing conditions in Africa for thousands of people including innocent children and animals are dying in Africa, if not then they are suffering every moment of the day. Africa presently is being aided in terms of economy by many donor nations.  Mozambique has reduced poverty to a great extent, Kenya has introduced many schools for free education and Tanzania has also established many new schools with teachers. Non-Governmental Organizations have been a big help in this aspect with their programmes for educating poor children and they have also provided financial aide.  But more help is required from the developed and developing nations for the betterment of so many people.

Madhurima Ganguly

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