WORST COUNTRIES FOR EACH

INEQUALITY

Liberia
(most unemployment) Liberia is a small country in West Africa, about half the size of the United Kingdom. It is only a few degrees from the equator so it is hot and wet and has tropical rainforest near the coast. Inland is grassland and is a little hillier. Liberia means ¶land of the free· and it was founded by freed slaves from the United States in 1820. It suffered a terrible war in the 1990s from which it is still recovering. Liberia is the second biggest licenser of ships in the world, especially tankers. Ships are not built here but they register here which saves the shipping company from paying taxes. This earns Liberia £10 million per year. Apart from this it earns money from exporting iron ore, timber and rubber. Very few people in Liberia have proper 9-5 jobs. Companies do not want to set up here because they think it is unsafe. As well as that, the price of iron ore and rubber has gone down so there has not been much mining or rubber extraction. But things are looking up. Liberia held elections in 2005. It is a lot more peaceful now. So many people are returning home, such as teachers, doctors and businesspeople. The country is now allowed to export gold and diamonds and timber, as well as iron ore and rubber, so these industries should provide many more jobs. Roads and bridges are being rebuilt and slowly life is improving.

Guinea-Bissau
(fewest telephones) Guinea-Bissau is a tiny country on the west coast of Africa, about half the size of Scotland. It added the word Bissau to its name so it would not be confused with another African country called Guinea. Bissau is its capital. It has a tropical climate with rain for 6 months and a dry season for 6 months. It is a lowland country, gradually becoming higher inland. Guinea-Bissau is the sixth largest producer of cashew nuts in the world, quite an achievement for a tiny country. Cashew nuts are quite expensive for us to buy but unfortunately farmers there get very little money for growing them. So the people are generally very poor and the government is very poor, as it has little else to export to other countries. This means people are too poor to afford landline phones or mobiles and the government cannot afford to install many. There are only 20,000 telephone lines in the whole country. Many of the telephone lines that the country did have were destroyed in a war ten years ago. The country is still trying to repair all the damage done. With very few telephones it is unlikely that many companies will set up here, which means the country will lose out on jobs and money. Many skilled engineers left the country during the war and only now do they think it is safe enough to return. Three mobile phone companies have just set up in Guinea-Bissau and provide coverage of 90% of the country. So the telephone system is improving but it is still very expensive for people to make phone calls.

Lithuania
(most suicides) Lithuania is a small country, a little smaller than Scotland, in north-east Europe. It is a lowland country with a similar climate to ours, but a little warmer in summer and several degrees colder in winter. It is one of the Baltic States, as it has a border on the Baltic Sea. It has just one port. It has few natural resources. Nevertheless Lithuania is a Developed Country, one of the richer ones. In fact, it is 74th richest out of 228 countries! And, 700 years ago it was the largest country in Europe. It has since had land taken from it and was even taken over by the Soviet Union 70 years ago. It only achieved its independence 20 years ago. Since then the suicide rate has soared. 30 people per week commit suicide, in a country with fewer people than Scotland. More people die from suicides than from traffic accidents . Young men are most at risk and older women. No-one is sure of the reasons why. The country changed a lot when it gained independence from the Soviet Union. Many people became wealthy. They could now afford alcohol and drugs. This is thought to be one of the reasons. But many people also became unemployed. This is thought to be another reason. 20 years ago doctors and hospitals in Lithuania did not know much about the treatment of mental health problems. They know much more now. There are also more psychiatric hospitals and a new telephone helpline service similar to the Samaritan·s here. The suicide rate is starting to fall.

Senegal
(worst sanitation)
Senegal is a small wet tropical country located in the far west of Africa. It is a little smaller than the United Kingdom. It is a French-speaking, Muslim country. The landscape is generally flat, with most of the land less than 100 metres high. In Senegal very few houses have flush toilets which connect to sewers. Instead, most toilets are outdoors and are simple closets or shacks where the sewage goes into a hole or pit and into the soil, called latrines. Sometimes there is not even a closet, nor a pit! Sewage contains bacteria which spread diseases. If the sewage is not treated, it finds its way into water, which people might drink, or onto crops which people might eat. It is responsible for many diseases. Twice in the last four years it has caused outbreaks of cholera, a nasty disease which kills half of the people who catch it. It is one of the main reasons why so many people die young. Most schools have these latrines and they are not very private. Girls, especially, do not like to use them and so many drop out of school. Many areas of the countryside do not even have latrines. It is one reason why so many people want to move to the cities to live. To install underground sewers and connect them to flush toilets in every house in every town and village in Senegal would cost a fortune. Instead the government is putting in underground tanks to collect the sewage so that it cannot pollute water or land. They started in the capital, Dakar, and they began with schools and hospitals. Each tank costs about £100. Once they have enough money, they will extend the project to the rest of the city and then elsewhere in Senegal.

Afghanistan
(most unsafe water)

Afghanistan is a medium-sized country in south-west Asia, three times the size of the United Kingdom. The very high Hindu Kush mountains run through the middle of the country. The climate is mostly dry and very hot in summer, except in the mountains. A wide variety of ethnic groups live here, the biggest being the Pashtuns. Afghanistan has a long but troubled history and has been at war for the last 30 years. This has ruined the country in every respect. Houses, schools and hospitals are destroyed. Factories, offices and mines close down and their companies move out. The government has to spend what little money it has on ways of protecting its people and then it has to try and rebuild. Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world for a child to be born ² not just because of the war, but because most children have to drink unsafe water. They can then quickly catch many diseases, especially diarrhea, and these can be fatal. Because of the wars, the government has little money left for providing safe water for everyone. Recently, clean, piped water has been provided for just one town, Jalalabad. It cost over £1 million! As the country becomes a little safer many refugees (4 million!) have returned. They will help the country to recover. Also it might soon be safe enough for companies to start mining for oil and gas and copper. This will bring Afghanistan jobs and money and help it to fund clean water supplies.

Chad
(fewest roads)

Chad is a large country (five times the size of the UK) in northern Africa. It takes its name from Lake Chad, which is in the far south of the country. It is mostly lowland but there are mountains in the northwest. It is a tropical country and the north is part of the Sahara Desert. There are over 200 different ethnic groups in Chad, each with its own language! It has more than its share of problems. Rainfall is very unreliable, even in the wetter parts, and it makes farming very difficult. Plagues of locusts regularly eat the crops that do grow. Nevertheless most people are farmers. Living standards are low. There are a few industries, making cotton goods, soap and cigarettes are the main ones. Chad was at war for many years, until 1990. The wars destroyed the roads and also meant there was no money to rebuild them. In 1990 there was only 30 kilometres of paved road in the whole country. Even now it has only 500 kilometres. To become wealthy Chad needs to export goods. This is almost impossible at present because the roads are not good enough for lorries, there are no railways, there is only one international airport and the country is landlocked!. A few years ago oil was discovered in Chad and is now being exported (by pipeline). It is a rule here that 80% of all the profits made from oil is used to improve conditions in Chad. Many things need to be done but they are now starting to build more good roads.

Palestinian Territories
(most crowded)

The Palestinian Territories is a country which is in two regions separated by the country of Israel. The two regions are the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The West Bank is named after the River Jordan as it is found on the river·s west bank. It is a new country and extremely tiny, one-tenth of the size of Scotland. The Gaza Strip is flat but the West Bank is hilly and rugged. Some of it borders the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth·s surface, a lake so salty that you can float on it. The climate is very hot in summer and dry, being a desert in places. Although the Palestinian Territories are only one-tenth the size of Scotland, they have almost as many people. It is the most crowded country in the world. This is partly because women have, on average, five children. It is also because many Arabs came here as refugees after wars with Israel. Being so crowded makes it difficult for the people living there. The farmland is dry and poor and, being such a small country, it has few natural resources. So there are few factories and offices and one-quarter of the people have no job. But small countries do not have to be poor (eg Monaco, Luxembourg). Palestinian Territories need to attract companies to set up here and to do that they need to be at peace with their neighbour, Israel. Both countries are now trying to reach agreements with each other. Other nations are trying to help, such as the United States, but the differences between the countries are deep and progress is slow.

Colombia
(most murders)

Colombia is a medium-sized country in the north of South America and is named after Christopher Columbus. It is a tropical country, has just one season per year, is four times the size of the UK and is a country full of variety. It has extremely high mountains (the Andes), tropical rainforests with all their wildlife, grasslands, and beautiful coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It also has destructive earthquakes and volcanoes. Although it is a Developing Country, it is not amongst the poorest in the world. It has 95% of the world·s emeralds and also has valuable supplies of platinum, silver and gold. It is the second biggest seller of flowers in the world, it sells one-eighth of all the coffee sold in the world and it also one of the biggest producers of bananas. It also grows a lot of coca, used to make cocaine. This means there are many drug gangs and drug wars. Many are killed each year fighting over cocaine, including police officers. Colombia has many rebel groups who are trying to take over the country. They also fight and kill each other. They run protection rackets for big companies. Many people who speak out against these companies are also killed, such as journalists and workers· leaders. In the last four years the government has started to destroy coca farms by spraying them from above with chemicals. They have reached agreements with some armed groups but these have not been completely successful.

Burkina Faso
(lowest literacy rate) Burkina Faso is a small country (the same size as Scotland) in west Africa. It is just south of the Sahara desert so the climate is hot and dry. Only two rivers in the whole country flow all year and the main one is the Black Volta. Most of Burkina Faso is very flat but in the south-west there are rolling hills and dense forest. Here it is rainier. Farming is difficult in such a dry climate and farmers do not make much money. There are some jobs in mining but these are poorlypaid. So the average income per year in Burkina Faso is £300. It costs £70 per year to send a child to school. In addition, parents have to pay for books, pens etc. As a result, few children go to school and this is one reason why literacy rates are so low. Amazingly, many parents try to send one of their children to school. It is usually the eldest boy. The country does not have many goods to export and the ones they do sell for very low prices, such as cotton, copper and rice. Because the people are poor the government does not get much money from taxes. So it cannot afford to build many schools. Classes in Burkina Faso should not have more than 65 children, but many in the countryside do. This is because there are so few schools. Such big classes make it more difficult for everyone to learn, another reason why literacy rates are low. To try and help more children to read and write, the government is reducing school fees for girls. They are also building centres for adults to learn to read and write. Things are improving, slowly.

Swaziland
(shortest life expectancy) Swaziland is a tiny country in southern Africa, no bigger than central Scotland. It is mostly upland, although the land is not too high, and the climate is lovely ² mild winters, hot summers with enough rain but not too much. Most people are farmers and their main crop is maize. They can grow many fruits as well, such as citrus fruits and pineapples. Most farmers grow food just for themselves. Sugar cane and cotton are grown on farms which sell their products. Being so small the country has very little to sell to other countries and its people are mostly poor. Many do not have enough to eat and this makes them weak. Because the country cannot afford to put in proper water pipes and sewage pipes, many people are forced to drink polluted water. This causes many diseases which can kill the people. These are some of the reasons why life expectancy is so low. The main disease, however, is AIDS and one-third of the people in Swaziland are infected with the virus. Few people with AIDS live more than a few years. It is a major killer disease, it is easily passed on to other people and there is no cure. This is the main reason why life expectancy is so low here. Last year over 60% of all the people who died in Swaziland, died from AIDS. For many years nothing was done to control AIDS and it spread very quickly. Now the people here are being tested to see whether they have the virus. Anyone who has the virus is then given drugs. These drugs slow down the virus which means they are less likely to die from AIDS. But there is still a long way to go before the disease is wiped out.

Burundi
(poorest people) Burundi is a tiny country in east Africa, just onethird of the size of Scotland. Its landscape is beautiful with high mountains, large lakes and it teems with wildlife such as elephants, hippos, antelopes and baboons. 90% of the people are farmers and the best place to farm is in the highlands where it is a little cooler. In order to farm, the people have to cut down trees found in the highlands here. Over the years so many trees have been cut down that whole forests have disappeared. Unfortunately this makes the soil loose and it is easily washed away or blown away. Then the soil is poor and little grows. The farmers are subsistent farmers ² they live off what they grow, such as corn, millet, sweet potatoes and bananas. They sell anything they have left. As the soil becomes poorer, they grow less and so have less to sell and less income. There are few well-paid jobs in Burundi. Few factories and offices set up here because Africa is difficult to reach from Europe and the USA and Burundi is difficult to reach in Africa. The government is now setting up farms selling crops such tea and cotton. They hope this will be more profitable. They are also building better roads to make it easier to reach Burundi.

Latvia
(least happy)

Latvia is a small country in northern Europe, a little smaller than Scotland. It is a Developed country ² in the top half of countries in the world according to wealth. It is a lowland area with many forests and is rich in wildlife. It attracts many tourists. So why should the people of Latvia, on average, be unhappier than other people? The truthful answer is ² we don·t know. These are some of the possible reasons. y long, bitterly cold winters y very little daylight in the depths of winter y they are a small country and have always been bullied by their neighbours, especially Russia y they have been ruled by another country for most of the last 700 years and not allowed to do as they wish Or, maybe, it is just the character of the people. Maybe they are pessimists, always expecting things to go wrong. Or, maybe, it was the way the questions were phrased. A more interesting question is why the people in the poorest countries in the world are not the most unhappy. You would think they would have good reason to be. Hutchie pupils who have visited our partner school in Nitte, south India, have been surprised to see just how happy the people are ² probably happier than we are. One thing is for sure. Happiness does not depend upon being wealthy. And being wealthy does not make you happy.

Niger
(most children per family) Niger is a large tropical country in the Sahara desert in Africa. It is nearly five times the size of the UK. It is mostly lowland with mountains in the north. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, although it does have some uranium to mine. As you might expect farming is very difficult here. Most farmers have to be nomadic. The main group of people here are the Tuaregs. In the wettest areas it is just possible to grow crops but often the rains fail to come. Sometimes swarms of locusts eat the crop and, strangely in such a dry area, floods can ruin harvests and cost many lives. People in Niger like large families, partly because so many children die in childhood and partly because they need children to look after them when they are too old to work. But lots of children grow up to have lots of children and the population grows very rapidly. This makes it much more difficult to provide food for everyone, as well as jobs. It also means more houses need to be built and schools and hospitals, which all cost a lot of money. If people in Niger continue to have lots of children, the population of Niger is going to quadruple (x4) by the year 2050. The government is now a little worried. It has begun a campaign informing everyone of the problems of too many people. The government also proposes that girls do not marry until they are 18 years old. At present half of all the 15 year old girls in Niger are already married and have at least one child!

Central African Republic
(least fertilizers used) The Central African Republic is a large country, over twice the size of the UK. As the name suggests, it is in the middle of Africa on the equator. The climate is hot and wet and the land is flat or gently rolling, covered with rainforest or savanna grassland. Most of the people live in the countryside and are farmers. Because there are so many farmers, the size of their farms is small. The average size would be one or two hectares (a hectare is 100 metres x 100 metres, football-pitch size). The average farm size in Scotland is 100 hectares. The main crop is cassava which the farmers make into a flour. (We use this flour to make tapioca). This takes a long time to grow and while it is growing the children are needed to help in the fields instead of going to school. Because their farms are small the farmers can only grow enough to eat themselves. Only in a good year do they have any left over to sell. So they do not have any money to buy fertilizers. The government of the Central African Republic is trying to persuade the farmers to grow rice instead of cassava. This gives the people protein as well as carbohydrate, so it is healthier for them. They can also produce more from their small farms, so they should be able to sell some, earn some money and buy fertilizers. As a bonus, it grows in a shorter time than cassava and so children will be able to attend school more.

Rwanda
(least electricity)

Rwanda is a tiny country in East Africa, only one-third the size of Scotland. It is known as the land of a thousand hills and has a chain of volcanoes in the west. It has a tropical climate with rain in most months of the year. In 1994 a terrible civil war here killed over 1 million people (one-tenth of the population). Rwanda has no coal or oil or even fast-flowing water for making electricity. So very few people have electricity, almost no-one outside the capital city, and the electricity they do have is very expensive. Apart from lowering people·s quality of life, the shortage of electricity means that factories cannot set up in Rwanda. And factories bring jobs and money. This means that people have to be farmers. There are few other jobs for them. So the shortage of electricity is one of the main reasons why Rwanda is so poor. But, beneath Rwanda·s volcanoes lies Lake Kivu. Here they have found huge amounts of methane gas, which can be made into electricity. The Rwandan government has just started to investigate how difficult it will be to extract this gas from the bottom of the lake. If they can do it, there is enough gas there to provide everyone in Rwanda with enough electricity and to attract lots of factories here.

Angola
(least education) Angola is a large country in southern Africa, five times the size of the UK. It has a dry, tropical climate and little rain falls for seven months a year. The south is even a desert, part of the Namib desert. Children in Angola only have to go to school for 4 years. This is chiefly because the country is too poor to pay the wages of teachers and to build bigger schools. But Angola should be a rich country. It has vast amounts of valuable minerals such as diamonds, oil and gold, as well as iron ore, copper and a few others. It grows a lot of coffee and it has important fishing grounds offshore. So why is it so poor? Until recently Angola has been at war ² for 27 years! They were not fighting another country. It was a civil war, one group in Angola fighting another. Even now there is occasional fighting. This has been devastating. Factories, farmland, mines, roads and railways have been destroyed and destroyed again. The government has spent money on weapons and tanks, not on schools and teachers. But it is not just the fighting that caused such damage to Angola. During the war the armies laid mines ² they think 10 million of them! These are hidden in the ground. If you pass over them, they blow up. And they maim you. But nobody knows where they are. Every week 200 people are injured by mines exploding. Nearly half of them lose limbs. Until the mines are located and removed, people are too scared to go very far and certainly dare not build schools. The government is slowly locating and removing them but it needs help from other countries and charities.

Tanzania
(fewest doctors) Tanzania is a large country in east Africa, being four times the size of the UK. It lies just south of the equator so it has a hot, tropical climate with rain for much of the year. Tanzania is a country of spectacular beauty including the Great Rift Valley, the wildlife in the Serengeti Plain, Lake Victoria and Mount Kilimanjaro. Most people in Tanzania are farmers. As the population grows, so the farms become smaller and it is more difficult for each family to make a living. To make matters worse the soil is becoming poorer as the topsoil is blown away. This means that Tanzania is a poor country and cannot afford many doctors or hospitals. It can only pay its doctors £150 per month. It is a fact that most people in Tanzania have never seen a doctor, not even when they were born! And they are not likely to see one before they die. There are also many more diseases in Tanzania than in Britain; diseases such as malaria, AIDS and yellow fever. Without doctors people are much more likely to die. Tanzania has come up with a clever plan to help with its problem. Instead of training lots of doctors, which it cannot afford to do, it trains people as clinical workers. They are just trained to recognize and treat the most common diseases and injuries in Tanzania. The training is quicker so it is much cheaper. This means that more people can be trained and more Tanzanians given medical help when they need it.

United States of America
(most polluting) United States is the 4th largest country in the world by area and the 3rd largest by population. Being so large, it has many different landscapes including huge mountain ranges (the Rockies) and vast plains (the Prairies). It has many different climates, ranging from tropical (in Hawaii) to desert (in Arizona) to polar (in Alaska). The USA produces more goods from factories and farms than any other country in the world. It makes more money from selling goods than any other country. It has more roads, railways and airports than any other country, which means it has more motor cars, trains and aeroplanes than any other country. And it uses more electricity, oil and coal than any other country. But, factories, cars, trains, planes and power stations all burn fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and natural gas. And when fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide into the air. Too much carbon dioxide pollutes the air. It is one of the worst pollutants because it is thought to cause global warming. Too much carbon dioxide also affects people·s health. Since President Obama came to power, the USA has been trying to reduce the amount of carbon it releases. New laws are being made which will force companies to reduce the amount of carbon they release from their factories and power stations. Cars will have to be cleaner and the most polluting cars may even be banned. The most polluting car at present is a sports pick-up truck made by Dodge. The company even call it ´the baddest pick-up truck everµ.

Ethiopia
(least food) Ethiopia is a very large country in north-east Africa, as large as France and Spain together. It has a fascinating history and the landscape is full of castles and forts. It was very powerful two thousand years ago and may even have been the place where the first human beings lived. It is a mountainous country with desert lowlands. The Blue Nile rises in the mountains here. Ethiopia has two seasons ² warm, wet and warm, dry, but the rainfall is very unpredictable. Four out of five people in Ethiopia live and work on farms, so the farms are very small. People can usually just grow enough to eat but if it does not rain their crops will not grow and they become hungry. Many times in the last 40 years the country has suffered terrible famines. In 1984 the famine killed one million people. The country has also been at war in the last few years and it is difficult to grow enough food with a war taking place. Ethiopia grows and sells a lot of coffee but it fetches very low prices so coffee farmers have little money to buy food. These are the main reasons why most people in Ethiopia have little food to eat. After the last big famine the government decided it should move people to wetter areas, but this has proved very unpopular. They are now building lots of ponds (88,000!) and reservoirs to store water. This water can be used if the rains do not arrive.

Suriname
(least farmland) Suriname is a small tropical country located in the north-east corner of South America. It is mostly rolling upland, with four-fifths of the whole country being covered in rainforest - part of the Amazon rainforest. There are few roads into the rainforest and so hardly anyone lives here. This means that nearly all the people are squeezed into a small area of flat land on the coast. Suriname is twice the size of Scotland but has a total population of about half a million, less than the number of people living in Glasgow. Because so much of the country is rainforest, there is very little farmland. The chief crop is rice. Some sugar cane and bananas are also grown. Because there is little farmland, the farms are small in size ² about 3 hectares, on average. This means the farmers cannot make much money from their farms. Over a quarter of the population are below the poverty line. Also, with so little farmland, Suriname does not earn much money from selling farm produce abroad ² less than 10% of its income comes from agriculture. The people of Suriname cannot make more farmland by cutting down the rainforests as they are protected. Instead, they are improving the existing farmland so that it brings the country more money. They have built a system of canals which brings extra water to their farmland. This helps their crops grow better, especially when it does not rain.

S1 Global Citizenship Unit INSTRUCTIONS TO PUPILS
This unit is about inequality around the world different ways in which countries are unequal. You will each be given a sheet with one example of inequality. Firstly, you need to read the sheet and find out the worst country for this example of inequality. Then you need to collect another sheet about that country. You will need to do some research at home on the internet. Your main task is to tell the rest of the class about this example of inequality. What you need to tell the class y The best and worst countries for your example of inequality y Why this example of inequality is important y In more detail, why the worst country is the worst You need to make your talk as fascinating, dramatic and entertaining as possible, so that everyone sits up and takes notice. So think about the best way of getting across your information. A few ploys: y Start either with a dramatic statement - This will seriously improve your knowledge..... - Can you believe that .... - This would be unbelievable if it were not true ....... y Or at least an interesting one - Did you know..... y Or, possibly an interesting short story - It was a sunny Tuesday morning and 12 year olds Divya and Anna were busy looking after cattle. They could see other children going to school, but they were not allowed to go .... y Then, when talking about the worst country, don t drone on and on but reduce what is being said to a few bullet points - Eg There are 4 main reasons for this ... 1 ... 2 ...

Listening carefully and take notes from other people s presentation

ISSUE AIR POLLUTION CHILDREN DOCTORS EDUCATION ELECTRICITY FARMLAND FERTILIZER USE FOOD HAPPINESS INCOME LIFE EXPECTANCY LITERACY MURDERS POPULATION DENSITY ROADS SAFE WATER SANITATION SUICIDES TELEPHONES UNEMPLOYMENT

PUPIL

MOST INTERESTING POINTS

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