POVERTY Essay Example

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It is lack of sufficient materials to meet the needs and expectations of individuals. Because of the scarcity of resources, most people do not have adequate funds to live comfortable life they want to live. Although it is difficult to give the exact levels of poverty globally, statistics shows it is increasing internationally because of the increasing global population (O’Connor, 2000). The purpose of this paper is to discuss why people live in poverty. Therefore, the main reasons why people live in poverty are corruption, poor governance, structural adjustment, increased global population and civil wars.

Why people live in poverty

People live in poverty because of corruption in governments. Research shows that people live in poverty because of the embezzlement of public funds which are allocated for development purpose. For instance, corruption in the African countries has contributed to increases gap between the rich and the poor. The budgetary allocation to developmental projects like infrastructure and health are misused by various ministries and they do not end up doing the purpose they are intended to (Maura, 2014). On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank provide development loans to countries that have shown progress in rooting out corruption. It means that the countries will otherwise remain in poverty because they cannot access international loans. In this regard, the rich become richer while the poor become poorer. Unfortunately, lack of political will hinder the forces of fighting corruption.

People live in poverty because of poor systems of governance. The system of governance in place influences contributes to reasons why people live in poverty. In the first place, most people in the African countries live in poverty because of misplaced priorities by governments. It is important to note that adequate resources are available in most countries but because of the factors such as corruption and misplaced priorities (Maura, 2014). For instance, most governments have selfish interests implying that they implement strategies that they can benefit from. They do not have the political will to utilize the available resources to develop their own countries. For example, the government can consider implementing digitalization of the learning process where some schools do not even have class rooms where learning takes place. Therefore, resources are misused because they are misplaced.

Also, structural adjustment explains why people live in poverty. Developing countries depend on International Monetary Fund to finance various programs aimed at improving the economy of the country. As a result, the loans provided by the international organization have strict measures regarding their uses (Anup, 2016). For instance, they put policies such cutbacks in social amenities such as education and healthcare system and this affects the development of the countries. The developing economies are expected to develop measures so that they can compete with developed countries. However, there is increased gap between the developed and developing economies regarding economic developments and measures put in place to improve the well-being of the people. In this regard, people live in poverty of the inadequate resources the government has to develop essential institutions.

Moreover, people live in poverty because of increased global population constraining the available scarce resources. The rate at which the population is growing makes it difficult for most governments to develop plans to ensure people meet their basic needs. According to statistics in 2016, the current global population is 7.4 billion people. The statistics taken in 2013 indicates that about 10% of the global population lived below $1.90 in a day (Anup, 2016). It means that the population is increasing globally and if not controlled the world might not contain it. Most developing countries experience the highest levels of poverty because of the increasing population. The rate of economic development is constant in most developing economies but the population is increasing and this hinders well-being of the population.

Finally, people live in poverty because of the civil wars in some countries internationally. The factors that hinder economic development include corruption and civil wars. The primary reason why African countries are lagging behind regarding development is because they gained independence from the colonials recently. The colonialists scrambled for important resources making leading to poor economic conditions of the countries (Maura, 2014). Furthermore, civil wars have affected the economic activities creating a big gap between the rich and the poor. The wars are experienced in some Middle East countries as well as African economies. Therefore, people do not engage in development activities instead they are always in war. As a result, they destroy property creating a basis for poor living conditions. Therefore, it is important to alleviate poverty by promoting political stability so that citizens can engage in development activities.


People live in poverty because of various reasons. However, statistics indicate that poverty levels are declining but at a decreasing rate compared to the population growth. The reasons that make people to live in poverty include corruption, poor systems of governance, and changes to development programs, civil wars and increasing global population. Therefore, governments have the responsibility of developing adequate measures to create development opportunities to improve the well-being of the people.


Anup, S. (2016). Causes of Poverty. Retrieved on 23rd November 2016 from http://www.globalissues.org/issue/2/causes-of-poverty

Maura, L. (2014). Poverty. Retrieved on 23rd November 2016 from http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty

O’Connor, A. (2000). «Poverty Research and Policy for the Post-Welfare Era». Annual Review of Sociology.
26(1): 547–562.