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Causes of Poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Poverty in Bosnia remains a challenge. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with a population of 3.5 million located in southeast Europe and is best known for its 1992-95 war and genocide in Srebrenica. Yet, more than 20 years after the end of the war, Bosnia’s citizens are still suffering in poverty. Approximately 50 percent of the country is deemed vulnerable to becoming poor. The poverty rate is 19 percent in rural areas and 9 percent in urban areas.

In addition, 15 percent of Bosnian citizens cannot afford basic services, such as food, clean water, fuel or healthcare. Only about a third of all working-age citizens have a job, and only a quarter of those same citizens have a formal job. Poverty is higher in rural areas where 50 percent of the population depends on agriculture even though much of the land in Bosnia is not suited to agriculture. Farmers also lost 90 percent of their livestock in the war. Children face disproportionate levels of poverty and, according to UNICEF, 170,000 children in Bosnia are poor.

 

Causes of Poverty in Bosnia: War and the Economy

The causes of poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina are more complex and tied to the country’s history and culture than they may first appear. The legacy of the war is the most salient cause of poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before the war, Bosnia was classified as a middle-income country. However, the conflict devastated the economy, down-grading Bosnia to a lower middle-income country. It has yet to bounce back to its pre-war level of economic prosperity.

Other economic repercussions of the war include a government that is expensive to run and corruption that runs rampant among politicians. Infrastructure is still under reconstruction and many Bosnians live outside of their homes and outside of the country, having been internally displaced or forced to flee.

The war is still felt in Bosnia in ways that are not just economic. Deep ethnic divides translate to political divides. This subjects at least half of the population to discrimination in the workforce and in society. These tensions affect the allocation of resources, further disadvantaging minority groups.

 

Gender Inequality and Cultural Attitudes

Gender inequality has become a cause of poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a unique way. Working-age men faced the highest numbers of fatalities during the war, and as a result, one in four households are now headed by women. These households are the most vulnerable to tipping over the edge into poverty because women only make up 35 percent of the workforce and they are typically paid less.

Attitudes toward welfare are also a cause of poverty. Bosnia does receive foreign aid and it has its own welfare programs designed to provide help to poor and at-risk populations. However, 85 percent of people in Bosnia believe the elderly need more financial and government assistance, while only 60 percent of people believe the same of children.

 

The Good News

Despite the high levels of poverty and unemployment, Bosnia’s future is far from abysmal. Progress has been made in recent years. According to the UNDP, “Over the first decade of the millennium, BiH has achieved progress in a number of areas. The annual average GDP growth of 6 percent has led to a reduction in poverty of almost 4 percent.” The government reduced its dependence on foreign aid and remittances from Bosnian expatriates. And the society made strides toward gender equality, as shown by the relatively high parity in education, particularly at the university level.

By continuing to empower civil society, holding the government and its officials accountable and providing equal access to resources and services, Bosnia can continue to pull its people out of poverty and reduce the power of its wartime legacy.

Olivia Bradley

Photo: Google

Causes of Poverty in Malaysia
Malaysia is a nation in southeast Asia with a rich history and a population of over 30 million. The nation has been one historically plagued with deep poverty; however, in recent decades, the conditions for a large swathe of its people have greatly improved. The government has undertaken a monumental effort to attempt to eradicate the causes of poverty in Malaysia and has been largely successful. Nevertheless, the country still suffers from the ills of impoverishment and plenty of work still needs to be done.

Since the Millennium Development Goals were introduced in 1990, the Malaysian government has done a lot to reduce poverty in the nation. The percentage of households living on less than $8.50 per day (the national poverty line) fell from over 50 percent in the 1960s to 1 percent currently. The Asian Development Bank claimed this to be the largest reduction among all Asian countries. Another government goal was to halve the number of people living on $1 a day by 2015, which they also successfully achieved.

The task of solving the root causes of poverty in Malaysia, however, is still far from over. Over 60 percent of the country still lives on less than $1,600 a month, and in rural areas, that number can climb up to 85 percent. Furthermore, although only about 1 percent of people currently live under the extreme poverty line, that still accounts for 300,000 people, a significant number.

The government recognizes that it still has not fully addressed the causes of poverty in Malaysia, and has laid out a road map of its future plan of action. This plan of action revolves around four main focal points.

 

Addressing the Causes of Poverty in Malaysia

 

  1. Increase the level of education among the poor. Through education, children in poor communities will have a better chance to get a high-paying job or start a business.
  2. Strengthen social safety nets, enhance collaboration with NGOs and corporations and provide empowerment programs.
  3. Ensure income is redistributed to uplift those in poverty for the bottom 40 percent.
  4. Institutionalize appropriate policies which promote economic development.

If the Malaysian government continues on the path they have been on so far and successfully addresses these goals in their plan of action, poverty and the ills it brings could be effectively eradicated in the nation once and for all.

Alan Garcia-Ramos

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Tunisia
The pressing issue of poverty in the North African country of Tunisia is one that needs to be addressed. While attempting to understand the causes of poverty in Tunisia, patterns of unemployment, food insecurity and civil unrest have become most apparent.

According to a 2010 estimate, nearly 15.5 percent of Tunisians lived below the poverty line, whereas in 2014 the poverty rate was as high as 24.7 percent. Furthermore, the income inequality in Tunisia is dramatic – the top 20 percent of Tunisians earn 46.3 percent of the national income while the bottom 20 percent earn only 5.9 percent. Poverty, in particular, affects those in central Tunisia at a higher rate than those on the outskirts of the country’s borders.

 

Leading Causes of Poverty in Tunisia

 

Hunger is a pressing issue within Tunisia that contributes to poor living conditions for many. Numerous Tunisians are finding that their food is too expensive for them to afford or that it is physically and geographically inaccessible in seasons where food is not abundant. There are many problems associated with malnutrition on such a large scale including limits to economic productivity and increased health costs for many.

Tunisia also has a remarkably high unemployment rate, which affects, in particular, university graduates and women. Tunisia’s sizeable workforce is straining the country’s resources and many young Tunisians have reacted violently against this, which has contributed to the civil unrest that concluded with the revolt against the Ben Ali regime in 2011.

The civil unrest that has plagued Tunisia since 2011 is another one of the major causes of poverty in Tunisia. The political instability that is a result of the Ben Ali regime stems from dissatisfaction with poverty and unemployment that continues to plague many Tunisians. This unrest has since driven away tourists and business investors alike, which has further increased unemployment for Tunisians, as not enough jobs are being created to meet the demands of the growing workforce.

At the moment, it seems that the best way to combat poverty in Tunisia is to address the unemployment and political instability that have contributed to poor living conditions for many of the population. By addressing these two major issues, the lives of many in this country will likely begin to improve as poverty can start to decrease nationwide.

Jennifer Faulkner

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Niger
Niger, an African country located on the edge of the Sahara, is known as one of the poorest countries in the world. With a growing population of 16.6 million people, over 45 percent of citizens live under the international poverty line. Some causes of poverty in Niger are the high birth rate, the major and minor droughts that effect agricultural and economic growth, and the outward effects of the conflict involving the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

 

Main Causes of Poverty in Niger

 

High Birth Rate
Niger has a literacy rate of only 19.1 percent and 42.2 percent of children under five suffer from malnutrition. With the highest birth rate in the world – about 7.4 births per woman – the growing population makes it difficult to feed and educate families.

While there are family planning programs implemented throughout Niger, only 11 percent of married women take advantage of contraceptives and family planning methods. This is mainly due to the lack of education surrounding contraceptives, as well as fear of how they will affect the body. However, many organizations are working hard to break these myths about contraceptives and teach men and women the beneficial effect that family planning can have on breaking poverty in Niger.

Droughts
Niger’s economy is based mostly in agriculture, which makes up for 36.5 percent of its GDP. When external shocks due to climate occur, it leads to both food and job shortages. For example, Niger has been struck by three major droughts within the last two decades, all causing major food shortages, an increase in food prices and fewer available jobs. The last major drought from 2010 still has Niger recovering from its effects.

Organizations like the World Food Programme (WFP) are implementing measures to help combat the underlying causes of poverty in Niger. Through WFP, communities are learning about environmental rehabilitation programs, agricultural recovery programs and emergency preparedness programs, so that they can better understand how to alleviate poverty.

Boko Haram
In 2015, about 750 troops were deployed to Nigeria to help fight off the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. During this time, over 115,000 people were displaced and sought refuge within Niger, causing a greater imbalance within the already flawed economy.

Over the last two years, Niger has been involved in fighting Boko Haram; their involvement – notably their violent and controlling ways – has disrupted economic development within the country as well as created fears of food shortages.

While the outlook seems grim for Niger, the new president of Nigeria has been implementing new solutions to help ward off Boko Haram. Through the creation of the Multinational Joint Task Force to strengthen the region, as well as a loan from World Bank, there is some hope to restore economic stability in the area.

The causes of poverty in Niger range from social, economic and political issues regarding population growth, unstable weather and social conflict. While all of this creates an economically unstable country and negatively affects its people, there is help from surrounding countries and organizations to help put Niger back on its feet.

Rebekah Covey

Photo: Google

Causes of Poverty in Mali

As growth programs in Africa transition from aid to investment, the quality of life for its inhabitants improve. The effects of poverty vary from place to place. For example, let’s examine the causes of poverty in Mali.

The World Bank Group (WBG) strives to promote risk management in its development policy operations and its understanding of the adverse factors that could affect its operations in Africa. As a result, its strategies could help alleviate some of the causes of poverty in Mali.

The WBG uses Standardized Operations Risk-Rating Tools to evaluate the success of its Country Partnership Framework. These tools are significant in the coordination and execution of development programs. They set the tone for what is achievable in the WBG’s operations. As a technique for risk management, the WBG employs different factors to determine the key impediments to development plans and the success of poverty reduction programs in Africa. Consequently, in the WBG’s assessment of its multilateral investment framework in 2016, the bank outlines certain risk factors that impede growth and are the causes of poverty in Mali.

The process for improvements in Africa must consider political stability as a condition for allowing investment plans to flourish. For the development intentions such as providing education, electricity, infrastructure, food security and regional integration in Africa, there must be peace and an environment where violence does not frighten investors. In Mali, high poverty in densely populated areas; increasing youth unemployment; unfavorable climate and environmental disasters worsen living conditions. More causes include:

  1. Conflict Risk: Conflicts in the west of the Mali have had a ripple effect on other parts of the country. For example, there has been an increase in violence in the country’s southern region. The longer the instability in the north persists, the longer impact it will have on stability in the rest of the country.
  2. Lack of Progress on Key Governance Reforms: The Systemic Country Diagnostic for Mali indicates that poor infrastructure has worsened the government’s ability to tackle physical security issues and create an environment for economic growth.
  3. Economic risks: As increased violence raises concern for foreign investments, development partners are expected to reevaluate supporting development plans.
  4. Lack of Key Sector Reforms: As reforms in key sectors such as agriculture and energy should contribute to the reduction of poverty, these growths are unlikely if the terms of peace agreements are not met.
  5. Security Challenges for WBG-Funded Activities: A solution is to simplify the implementation arrangements and close cooperation with partners on the ground, as there is a low institutional capacity to implement these programs.

As an important contributor to development in Africa, the World Bank Group is committed to programs that have the potential of achieving the poverty reduction goals for 2030. These causes of poverty in Mali are similar to causes of poverty in order parts of the globe. Thus, success and peace are mutually inclusive as they are significant factors for growth in Mali and other parts of Africa. As a result, stability in Mali is necessary for growth to continue.

Ebuka Okoye

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Finland
Finland is rated among the top nations in the world for quality of life, financial equality and educational systems. As a welfare state it provides its citizens public services to protect against financial and social risks like accidents, disabilities, old age and unemployment. Thus, there are few causes of poverty in Finland.

The country also has one of the lowest poverty rates at approximately 0.04 percent of its 5.4 million citizens. However, the percentage of people considered at risk of poverty is on the rise.

In the late 1980s, Finland had an impressively low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, with 10.7 percent of the population considered at risk of poverty.

In the early 1990s, Finland suffered a severe recession that brought the unemployment rate to 18.5 percent. This subsequently dropped to 9.1 percent by the late 1990’s as the nation made a quick recovery.

The Finnish government made significant spending cuts for public services to cope with the recession. York University graduate scholar Juha Mikkonen wrote that increases in public services grew slowly alongside a slow wage trend since these cuts were made.

Numerous scholars argue this trend left more people at risk. Others argue these public services can be the net that saves those on a low income in the case that an accident, illness, or loss of income hits unexpectedly. These safeguards act to cushion the blow of the key causes of poverty in Finland.

 

Leading Causes of Poverty in Finland

 

The number of people at risk rose to 15.6 percent in the late 2000’s, and now hovers around 13 percent. This last spring, Finland’s Ministry of Finance announced that around 869,000 people were at risk.

What does it mean to be at risk of poverty? The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines the poverty line separately for each nation, and is usually drawn at or less than 50 percent of the national median income.

The Finnish government presently uses the OECD’s defining parameters of those at risk of poverty. Those with an annual income of less than 60 percent of the national median income, which in Finland is $28,238.

In 2014, Statistics Finland reported the two age groups with the highest percentage of at risk individuals were those 18 to 24 years (at 29.7 percent) and 75 and older (at 22.2 percent).

Mikkonen noted that the causes of poverty for Finland’s youth may be their limited employment while in school and increased dependence on their families later in adulthood. If their family falls on hard times, they are put at extra risk.

Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health states that poverty must also be defined by how well a person can access resources necessary to their well-being, such as good housing, food, healthcare and education.

Social exclusion can limit resources as well as job accessibility. Social exclusion and poverty often originate from the same causes depending on how the poor are perceived.

Numerous scholars studied how different people perceive the causes of poverty in Finland, finding that people attribute three main groups of causes: a) one’s personal behavior, b) societal and economic factors and c) luck or fate.

In addition, different social groups of the poor, such as families with children, elderly, and immigrants, are often judged differently as to what caused their poverty and how deserving they are of aid.

What makes these studies important? How a community perceives the poor and poverty influences how poverty-targeted policies are shaped and implemented.

Mikko Niemelä, University of Turku professor of sociology, notes that numerous studies reveal Finns are more likely than other Scandinavians to point to individualistic causes such as poor money management or laziness.

Niemelä’s study compared perceptions of social service providers and the public. About half of all respondents blamed problems with the social security bureaucracy and a lack of skills or opportunities as primary causes. His results also showed that the public was more likely to blame individualistic reasons.

A transition in social security policies occurred in the late 1990’s. Prior to the recession, policies largely sought to provide universal protection against financial hardships. Mikkonen notes that there has since been a transition towards policies that specifically target poverty reduction. These policy shifts parallel a change in opinion that disfavors universal policies as not effective in safeguarding against poverty.

One particular policy shift has excited many people across Europe. Beginning January 1, 2017, the Finnish government embarked on an experimental program. Called the Basic Income Experiment, it is part of a transition in governing philosophy towards a “culture of experimentation.” According to the Prime Minister’s 2016 Action Plan, this “experimentation will aim at innovative solutions, improvements in services, the promotion of individual initiative and entrepreneurship, and the strengthening of regional and local decision-making and cooperation.”

The experiment includes 2,000 citizens between the ages of 25 and 58 considered at risk who will be given a flat monthly income of €560 for two years. This income can be spent by recipients in any way they choose and takes the place of social security payments.

The goal is to see how social security could be made simpler while incentivizing work and providing a level of flexibility to the aid provided.

Why the stir of excitement and controversy? The idea for a flat, unconditional income has been discussed for many years.

A recent poll by Dalia Research Partners and NEOPOLIS found that 64 percent of their ten thousand respondents across 28 European nations would vote in favor of an unconditional basic income for those in need.

And now we wait to see how such an experimental plan might fare on the national scale.

Diana Nightingale

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in the Dominican Republic
According to the World Bank, the Dominican Republic has experienced one of the most remarkable growth seasons in the Caribbean in the last 25 years. Official estimates say that the number of Dominicans living in poverty dropped by almost six percent from 2014 to 2016. Although the country has made strides in the business front, they still have much to accomplish to stay competitive with other nations in the region.

A country is not just poor randomly, meaning factors contribute to the poverty rates in the country. Below are some of the causes of poverty in the Dominican Republic.

Increasing Population
The population of the country has been steadily increasing for decades.  It has risen by two million people since 2000 and is currently over 10.6 million inhabitants. A rising population also raises living standards, can make jobs harder to find and, in some cases, can keep young women from finishing their education.

Improper Documentation
Dominicans of Haitian descent are the poorest in the country and usually live close to the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. Low incomes and poor living conditions keep them in a cycle of poverty, and social exclusion does not help the most vulnerable families. Dominicans of Haitian descent are usually undocumented or migrant sugar cane plantation workers, which means they do not receive aid from social assistance programs.

Ignored Agricultural Sector
In the past decade, the Dominican Republic government has focused on building the tourism and service industries, virtually ignoring the agriculture sector of the economy. Without government investment in the small farms so that they can provide for their families, many farmers have to look for jobs elsewhere. Farming technologies have begun to make their way to rural communities, which will potentially increase productivity.

Natural Disasters
Recent research has found that natural disasters (such as drought, extreme rainfall and flooding) are and will be the biggest factors in keeping people in poverty.

Because most developing governments invest money in responding to disasters as opposed to protecting citizens from the inevitable, the poorest citizens lose more when that disaster hits. Having policies that highlight disaster prevention can potentially save the country millions of dollars and give the poor more of a chance to survive.

These are just some of the causes of poverty in the Dominican Republic. Understanding the poverty of a country is an ongoing process, so staying updated is a way to ensure you know how to help a country when it needs it. The causes of poverty in the Dominican Republic can change with the economy, and hopefully, this beautiful country will continue moving toward stability.

Emily Arnold

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Ireland

Despite its industrious, tech-based economy, Ireland is experiencing a national poverty epidemic. The developed country has an estimated total of 750,000 of its citizens living in poverty. The triggers behind the causes of poverty in Ireland stem from the nation’s 2008 recession. In addition, the majority of its citizens are dependent on government aid, and the growing wage gap between socioeconomic classes provides even more instability.

Ireland’s recession has had lasting effects on the welfare of the Irish people. Every year after the recession, Ireland’s poverty rate has consistently escalated. This has left many Irish citizens without the means to purchase basic goods and services, such as heat or clothing. Another reason why the recession is one of the most impactful causes of poverty in Ireland is due to the prior economic history of a rapidly increasing population during its economic heyday. Without the booming economy of the 1990s, Ireland now lacks the economic vitality to provide for its new wave of citizens.

Without social welfare, 50.7 percent of the Irish people would be at risk of poverty. This form of governmental aid is crucial in protecting Ireland’s most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly and the homeless. However, Ireland’s welfare programs have practically reached a breaking point. According to Fianna Fáil TD, the Irish Republican political party, “It’s an awful waste of taxpayers’ money… It’s not working.” While the social welfare system in Ireland has somewhat prevented the spread of poverty, it is necessary to lessen the heavy dependence on government aid. This will, in turn, reduce the financial burden on Ireland’s government.

The economic growth in Ireland has earned its place in several international markets while providing jobs, which have lessened the burden of social welfare. However, the unequal distribution of wealth that followed the economic development continues to cause class division. Pro-poor growth strategies must address the widening wage gap before it becomes even more extreme.

Although these causes of poverty in Ireland will require years of effort, solutions for the economic crisis are already underway. According to the Irish Times, “The numbers at risk of poverty—those earning 60 percent of median incomes—fell from 16.5 percent in 2012 to 15.2 percent in 2013… Moves to protect core welfare rates and restore cuts may halt the growth of poverty and begin to reduce it.”

Additionally, the government is currently working on an improved plan of action to tackle poverty in Ireland. They plan to create equity in social welfare rates, introduce a Basic Income system and make tax credits refundable.

Kaitlin Hocker

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Timor-Leste
After almost three decades of Indonesian occupation, Timor-Leste gained its independence in 2002. The widespread violence during the years of occupation has taken its toll, however, and, since independence, the nation has striven to rebuild. Despite these efforts, Timor-Leste remains one of the world’s poorest nations, with an estimated 42 percent of the population living in poverty. Before investigating methods by which this issue can be alleviated, it is important to understand the main causes of poverty in Timor-Leste.

  1. Much of Timor-Leste’s economic infrastructure became severely damaged during the years of Indonesian occupation. This has negatively impacted many of the country’s essential services, such as healthcare, agriculture and education. The lack of infrastructure has further exacerbated the country’s food insecurity. With many people reliant on harvested crops as their primary source of food, large amounts of these crops have been improperly allocated or are traded on the black market, compounding the issue of hunger.
  2. Timor-Leste faces challenges from its surrounding geography. The country’s uneven terrain makes both farming and water-gathering difficult, with only 30 percent of arable land currently used in farming. Around 70 percent of the nation’s population lives in rural areas and are reliant on agriculture as their primary food source. However, they are faced with the challenges of tackling the wet and dry seasons. Natural disasters also make this difficult, with floods and droughts the cause of large losses. As a result, many families who are reliant on farming are only able to produce enough food for eight months of the year.
  3. Food shortages contribute to a large number of illnesses and diseases in Timor-Leste. Malnutrition is widespread, and proper health care is hard to come by, particularly for those in rural areas. Maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world, and 45 out of every 1,000 children are expected to die before their first birthday. Of those who survive, many are stunted due to poor nutrition.
  4. Water and sanitation also create problems for health care. Of all Timorese, 300,000 do not have access to clean water, with large numbers of the population using public taps and unprotected springs to get the water they need. Additionally, 700,000 people are without adequate sanitation. The lack of these basic facilities enables disease to spread, resulting in unnecessary deaths, particularly of young children.
  5. Education attainment levels in Timor-Leste are low, with a lack of literacy among the population being particularly problematic. Prior to independence, many of the country’s schools were destroyed and teachers were in short supply. A 2015 UNESCO report found numerous challenges facing the education system. Dropout and attendance rates, particularly those of girls, is one of the key issues the country is facing.
  6. One of the primary reasons education is a major cause of poverty in Timor-Leste is the direct impact it has on employment. While more than three-quarters of Timor-Leste’s workers are employed within the primary sector, employment outside of this area is limited. The country’s educational issues prevent the development of a skilled workforce, which hinders the ability of the government to function effectively. This skill gap is particularly problematic for Timorese youths, where educational inadequacies have led to a 40 percent unemployment level. Further compounding this issue is the lack of job creation outside of government, with the private sector only able to create an estimated 400 jobs per annum.
  7. While Timor-Leste receives foreign aid from a multitude of sources, questions have been raised as to whether aid has delivered any observable results. Policies of donors may not necessarily be in line with what is best for the country, particularly when focused on the public versus private sector. Despite this, a recent government report shows that critical areas of health, agriculture and education are receiving significant investment through foreign aid. As some of the primary causes of poverty in Timor-Leste, further investment in these areas may enable at least a small alleviation of the poverty facing the country.

As a young nation with limited resources, assistance from the developed world is critical to progress in Timor-Leste. Increased foreign aid, focused on the primary causes of poverty in the country, will be a strong starting point to enabling a stable economic future for Timor-Leste.

Gavin Callander

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Haiti
Haiti is known as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. According to a Global Sisters Report, more than half of its citizens live either on or below the poverty line, contributing to a dearth of resources like food. Severe hunger is one of the biggest consequences of Haitian poverty, which has gotten worse in recent times. Given the severity of the situation, it’s important to know what the causes of poverty in Haiti are.

 

Exploring the Causes of Poverty in Haiti

 

One of the biggest causes of poverty in Haiti is government instability. Throughout the past 30 years, Haiti has had 18 different leaders, with 18 different governments. Due to this upheaval, several officials and businesses have taken advantage of the situation for their own power and wealth, to the detriment of the rest of the Haitian people.

Another consequence of this instability is the lack of government funds due to a lack of paid taxes. This leads to poor or even nonexistent services, such as aid for natural disasters. When these disasters occur, it creates a bigger burden for a country already struggling with few resources.

Two recent disasters that have exacerbated Haitian poverty are the 2010 earthquake and 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. According to The Economist, the earthquake left tens of thousands homeless, many of them still living in relief tents seven years later.

Still reeling from the earthquake, Hurricane Matthew destroyed much of the country’s livestock and crops. According to the Miami Herald, this leads to either desperate measures to attain food, like eating poisonous plants, or an over-dependence on foreign aid.

A study explored in the Global Sisters Report discussed how “[imported] rice accounts for the vast bulk [83 percent] of consumption.” The dependency on foreign food leads to less investment on local foods, hurting the already fragile economy.

Regardless, foreign relief alleviates a lot of the burden of Haitian poverty. Organizations like Food for the Poor and Misiόn Belem feed Haitians in areas where food is scarce.

In response to those areas of scarcity, current Haitian President Jovenel Moise vows to build up Haitian agriculture, like clearing the Duclos canal so the waters can be used to grow rice. Moise is also considering matters in Haiti beyond agriculture.

The Economist discussed how he received a report from The Copenhagen Consensus Centre outlining what it felt were the best investments into Haiti’s future. These investments included electricity reform, first responder training and infant immunization.

Although the causes of poverty in Haiti are varied and extreme, there are many people both within and outside of the island who are working towards ending Haitian poverty.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr