You are on page 1of 8

DeGrooth 1

Poverty: Permeating Throughout all Parts of the World

Destruction caused by mankind ends millions of lives each day. Currently, dozens of
countries fight one another because of differing ideologies. Crises such as the use of nuclear
weapons and the actions of ISIS affect areas of the world in catastrophic ways. For instance, in
June of 2014, Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, changed history by attacking Ukraine, with
nuclear weaponry. After this invasion, the United States advanced its preparations of its own
nuclear weapons in case of a further threat by Putin (Vladimir Putin). Meanwhile, ISIS
terrorists utilize fear as their main weapon of control. Its financial and military power intimidates
people and destroys innocent lives. These types of confrontations impact countries and the
civilians living within them. However, another pressing issue exists, one that is more insidious as
it affects an even larger portion of the world. This issue is the far-reaching effects of poverty.
Countries are classified based on their rate of poverty, economic status, and government control
as first, second, or third world countries. As a first world country, America and its citizens must
grasp not only a global perspective regarding poverty, but also about the poverty existing within
their own communities.
The vicious cycle of poverty is categorized based on an individual situations. Many
impoverished become entrapped for a variety of reasons and predicament. According to
journalist Eric Jensen, six types of poverty exist. For instance, third world countries, such as
Pakistan, are affected most through absolute poverty. Here people do not have the basic
necessities such as a home, food, nor water. Rather these individuals take life, day by day
(Quinonez). In some second and most first world countries, relative poverty occurs. What may be
considered a high income in one country can alternatively be considered a low income in
another. Because of this statistic, a person can be labeled at this threshold when his/her income

DeGrooth 2
does not meet the country's necessary standard of living. An additional type of poverty occurs
when an unforeseen circumstance takes place, such as a natural disaster. Generational poverty,
another type, is also often impossible to escape. In this predicament, individuals are born into
families with little to no money, to such an extreme it becomes almost impossible to escape. The
final types of poverty include urban and rural. Urban poverty involves areas where
overcrowding, violence, and poor community programs give little aid to those in need. Rural, the
opposite of urban areas, have few jobs and/or financial opportunity because the land areas are so
vast (Quinonez). No matter the type of poverty, any person can be affected.
People mistakenly tend to view poverty as simply a lack of money. However, The World
Bank defines it to be much more complex in meaning. This organization analyzes global poverty
information, and sets an International Poverty Line. Since 2015, according to The World Bank, a
person is considered to live in extreme poverty if he/she is living on less than 1.90 international
dollars per day (Ortiz-Ospina and Roser). This figure represents the current International
Poverty Line. However, The World Bank also sets poverty lines for individual countries. It
acknowledges that there has been a mild decrease in the poverty rates over the last century, but
notes that poverty is far from gone and it continues to impact any kind of sustainable life for
those in need (Ortiz-Ospina and Roser).
Worldwide, 795 million people suffer from extreme poverty, a category of absolute
poverty. Of course, poverty exists most in the underdeveloped countries. Third world countries
can also be classified by mortality rates, economic development and lack of resources. For
instance, a total of 97 countries are defined as a third world country, one of which is India. For
2016, Indias total population reached a staggering 1.2 billion people (World Poverty).
Extreme famine and low income exists within India, more so than any other country. India has an

DeGrooth 3
astonishing 360 million people living in poverty. Meanwhile, the rural area Zimbabwe currently
holds the highest poverty for African nations at 10 million people living in poverty. Deterioration
and infrastructure has isolated this 14 million person population, leading to thousands of deaths
yearly. In fact 70 percent of inhabitants are poor (Poverty in Zimbabwe).
Third world countries are recognized as having the highest poverty rates, however second
world countries also have significant issues associated with poverty. Second world countries are
more developed than third world countries typically having more stable governments than first
world countries. Countries such as Russia and Poland are good examples of second world
countries who are suffering in poverty (Second World). With a Russian population of 143.5
million people, over half this countrys people live below the official poverty line. In 2015,
Russians documented monthly incomes of less than 9,662 rubles ($140), which brought 20.3 million
people into the poverty threshold. This information identifies their country as one of the leading
second world countries with the highest poverty ( Russians Fall Below Poverty Line). Likewise,
Warsaw, Poland, struggles to grow its economy. The country, just last year, had 10.6 million people,
of their 39 million person population, in poverty due to a economic difficulty and job loss. Their
poverty issues, may seem less detrimental, however, both second world countries have immense
poverty (The World Bank).

Poverty exists in some first-world countries. Such as America, one state, Rhode Island,
has hunger and unemployment issues that continue to affect thousands of citizens. In an average
Rhode Island household, at least one adult is unemployed. Being such a low employment rate,
70% report choosing between paying for food or utilities, 62% report choosing between paying
for food or rent...(2016 World Hunger and Facts). This alarming statistic proves that
struggling families are forced to live modestly. Displayed in Figure 1, the family income from

DeGrooth 4
since 2000 has slowly deteriorated. As the household income shows a drastic decline (Manalo).
More specifically, the town of Westerly, RI suffers from low income issues and not surprisingly
Westerly has a high unemployment rate. This employment rate puts the town at a staggering 6.3
% unemployed (Westerly, Rhode Island Poverty Rate Data Information about Poor and Low
Income Residents). The high housing market cost and income, make it difficult to sustain a
home in this town. Although, a first world country/state, poverty affected locations in different
ways. Westerly may not have numerous homeless people on the side of the road, but hunger and
unemployment corrupt the town.
One in eight households in Rhode Island have an inadequate amount of food. The shelters
across Rhode Island help those suffering
with finances, food supply, and
unemployment (Manalo). These Westerly
organizations include the Rhode Island Food
Bank, Warm Shelter, the End Hunger
organization, Jonnycake Center, and Blue
Figure 1: US. Bureau of the Census, Real
Median Household Income in the United States

Mitten. In 2015, a study performed on the

Rhode Island Food Bank, revealed that the

organization donated 200,000 pounds of food to Rhode Islanders in need(Hunger Facts and
Resources). The healthy food donated helped the impoverished individuals in the State of
Rhode Island and Of the 9.7 million pounds of food distributed by the Food Bank last year, over
2 million pounds was fresh produce(Hunger Facts and Resources). People are working to help
the less fortunate get the proper source of nutrients, from this fresh produce. Rhode Island

DeGrooth 5
organizations, shelters, and food banks all work for the same outcome: to help the low income
Hundreds of groups recognize the prevalent issue of poverty. Shelters, organizations,
food banks, and fundraisers all work to positively impact the less fortunate. Global nonprofits
work to eradicate poverty through community awareness. Many international organizations work
to help transform agriculture, ultimately helping those in need (Hunger and World Poverty).
Heifer International, for example, recognizes how individuals can provide food for themselves in
a sustainable way. Many countries, which do not rely on aid from foreign countries, can create
their own steady, supply of food. Heifer distributes animals, along with agricultural and valuesbased training, to families in need, around the world, as a means of providing selfsufficiency(Heifer). Since 1944, this organization has shipped thousands of animals, such as
goats, bees, and water buffaloes. These resources are given to 20.7 million families, and more
than 105.1 million people in more than 125 countries (West). Organizations such as these work
to eradicate poverty. With dozens of organizations, second and third world countries can have
some hope to begin to sustain their poor.
In every community, town members need to acknowledge and assist the impoverished in
order to create change. Fortunately, hundreds of organizations and shelters worldwide work to
obliterate poverty. The impoverished will continue to die in mass numbers from preventable
diseases and severe malnutrition, untill communities come together and help. The world spends
more money toward feeding animals than they do feeding humans (Castillo). With this fact, it is
important to help the needy in any way possible, whether in a grand or small way. Any assistance
helps those who are starving, homeless or unemployed. Although, it can be difficult to recognize
an individual suffering in poverty, everyone must treat one another with kindness not judgement.

DeGrooth 6
By treating everyone equally, communities can insure that the impoverished people are noticed
and can be helped and treated. Poverty is a pandemic with local ramifications. There are many
factors that contribute to poverty, both locally and across the globe. Only through awareness,
education, political change and contributions can the social economic issue of poverty be

Works Cited
"2016 World Hunger and Poverty Facts. Hunger Notes, Fight Hunger with Knowledge,
01 Oct. 2016,
Castillo, CNBC Michelle. How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? About $60

DeGrooth 7, NBCUniversal News Group, 12 July 2015,
Hunger and World Poverty. -, UNICEF, Oct. 2016,
Hunger Facts and Resources. Rhode Island Community Food Bank, RI Committee
Food Bank. 2016,
Manalo, Margaret. American Poverty Statistics 2015." Ebooks-Gratuits.Me
.pdf : 10000 Rsultats 1/20,
Ortiz-Ospina, Esteban, and Max Roser. World Poverty. Our World In Data,
Poverty in Zimbabwe. The Borgen Project, 1 July 2013,
Quinonez, Natasha. Types of Poverty: A Summary for Teachers. Udemy Blog, 29 Apr. 2014,
Second World. Investopedia, 7 June 2011,
Russians Fall Below Poverty Line. The Moscow Times - News, Business,
Culture &Amp; Events, The Moscow Times, 10 Dec. 2015,

DeGrooth 8
Vladimir Putin., A&E Networks Television, 12 Sept. 2016,!
West, Dan. Heifer International. World Hunger and Poverty, Lifeblue,
Westerly, Rhode Island (RI) Poverty Rate Data Information about Poor and Low Income
Residents. Westerly, Rhode Island (RI) Poverty Rate Data, Advameg Inc, 2016,
The World BANK, Poland. Poland | Data, The World Bank,
World Poverty. FINCA International, 7 Oct. 2016,