Poverty In AfricaPoverty is a serious issue in third world countries because less is done to fight it and it has contributed to the spread of preventable diseases, violence over scarce resources and political instability. It is also hindering economic development of various countries in Africa.
Africa is home to large ethnicities, cultures and language and has a large amount of resources and minerals such as gold, diamond, uranium and many more to benefit from yet Africa is still poor and cannot benefit from such resources. According to statistics Africa is the second most populated continent after Asia with a population of 1,278,137,050 and is the equivalent of 16.6% of the world’s population (1) yet many countries in Africa have a GDP per Capita of $100-$1060 (2) and there are many reasons for this such as poor leadership, embezzlement of funds, natural disasters and this has led to a declining economy as well as poor health, living standards and lack of basic needs such as food and water. The United Nations development program shows measure of development in lack of water and sanitation, illiteracy and child mortality.
Every year some 1.8 million children die as a result of diarrhea and other diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. At the start of the 21st century unclean water is the world’s second biggest killer of children (3). Many areas in Africa experience natural disasters such as drought, heavy rains and mudslides which damage crops being planted by people who live in rural areas as 70% of the African population live there and many turn to farming as they have land but cannot afford inputs such as fertilizers and better seeds and end up harvesting very little crops which brings in less money thus affecting their source of income and little is done to help them. As time goes on the soil’s nutrients are being used up and are not replenished hence after a number of harvesting they cannot farm anymore.Health is another problem in Africa where children are affected the most. 3000 children under the age of 5 die each day.
In 2015, Africa was home to 90% of malaria cases and 92% of deaths caused by malaria. Poor people are at high risk of getting infected by malaria because they cannot afford healthcare, treated mosquito nets and many live in rural areas where there are no good hospitals and need to travel far to find one (4). Although much is done by organizations such as WHO to combat malaria by setting up free medical clinics for the poor and providing free medication malaria is still a big cause for deaths in Africa especially in drought affected areas.