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current global issues

Among all the good in the world, and all the progress being made in global issues, there is still much more to be done. Given the overwhelming disasters that nations, including the U.S., have been or still are going through, it is important to be aware of the most pressing global issues.

Top 10 Current Global Issues

  1. Climate Change
    The global temperatures are rising, and are estimated to increase from 2.6 degrees Celsius to 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100. This would cause more severe weather, crises with food and resources and the spread of diseases. The reduction of greenhouse emissions and the spreading of education on the importance of going green can help make a big difference. Lobbying governments and discussing policies to reduce carbon emissions and encouraging reforestation is an effective way of making progress with climate change.
  2. Pollution
    Pollution is one of the most difficult global issues to combat, as the umbrella term refers to ocean litter, pesticides and fertilizers, air, light and noise pollution. Clean water is essential for humans and animals, but more than one billion people don’t have access to clean water due to pollution from toxic substances, sewage or industrial waste. It is of the utmost importance that people all over the world begin working to minimize the various types of pollution, in order to better the health of the planet and all those living on it.
  3. Violence
    Violence can be found in the social, cultural and economic aspects of the world. Whether it is conflict that has broken out in a city, hatred targeted at a certain group of people or sexual harassment occurring on the street, violence is a preventable problem that has been an issue for longer than necessary. With continued work on behalf of the governments of all nations, as well as the individual citizens, the issue can be addressed and reduced.
  4. Security and Well Being
    The U.N. is a perfect example of preventing the lack of security and well being that is a serious global issue. Through its efforts with regional organizations and representatives that are skilled in security, the U.N. is working toward increasing the well being of people throughout the world.
  5. Lack of Education
    More than 72 million children throughout the globe that are of the age to be in primary education are not enrolled in school. This can be attributed to inequality and marginalization as well as poverty. Fortunately, there are many organizations that work directly with the issue of education in providing the proper tools and resources to aid schools.
  6. Unemployment
    Without the necessary education and skills for employment, many people, particularly 15- to 24-year olds, struggle to find jobs and create a proper living for themselves and their families. This leads to a lack of necessary resources, such as enough food, clothing, transportation and proper living conditions. Fortunately, there are organizations throughout the world teaching people in need the skills for jobs and interviewing, helping to lift people from the vicious cycle of poverty.
  7. Government Corruption
    Corruption is a major cause of poverty considering how it affects the poor the most, eroding political and economic development, democracy and more. Corruption can be detrimental to the safety and well being of citizens living within the corrupted vicinity, and can cause an increase in violence and physical threats without as much regulation in the government.
  8. Malnourishment & Hunger
    Currently there are 795 million people who do not have enough to eat. Long-term success to ending world hunger starts with ending poverty. With fighting poverty through proper training for employment, education and the teaching of cooking and gardening skills, people who are suffering will be more likely to get jobs, earn enough money to buy food and even learn how to make their own food to save money.
  9. Substance Abuse
    The United Nations reports that, by the beginning of the 21st century, an estimated 185 million people over the age of 15 were consuming drugs globally. The drugs most commonly used are marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamine stimulants, opiates and volatile solvents. Different classes of people, both poor and rich, partake in substance abuse, and it is a persistent issue throughout the world. Petitions and projects are in progress to end the global issue of substance abuse.
  10. Terrorism
    Terrorism is an issue throughout the world that causes fear and insecurity, violence and death. Across the globe, terrorists attack innocent people, often without warning. This makes civilians feel defenseless in their everyday lives. Making national security a higher priority is key in combating terrorism, as well as promoting justice in wrongdoings to illustrate the enforcement of the law and the serious punishments for terror crimes.

With so many current global issues that require immediate attention, it is easy to get discouraged. However, the amount of progress that organizations have made in combating these problems is admirable, and the world will continue to improve in the years to come. By staying active in current events, and standing up for the health and safety of all humans, everyone is able to make a difference in changing the fate of our world.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

 

 

Poverty in Jamaica Poverty rate
Jamaica has struggled with poverty, unemployment and crime for the past half century, but the nation has recently seen ambitious government economic policies bear fruit. Discussed below are the leading facts about poverty in Jamaica and their implications.

8 Facts about Poverty in Jamaica

  1. Jamaica is not in extreme poverty and is regarded as a middle income country. For comparison, Jamaica has about 1/20th the GDP per capita of the United States, but a four-times-higher GDP per capita than the nearby country Haiti.
  2. Since the 1970s and 80s, Jamaica has experienced serious problems with poverty and unemployment. Through the 90s, unemployment remained around 15 percent, with poverty above 25 percent. The unemployment rate is currently 14 percent and poverty is 16 percent.
  3. A serious hindrance to Jamaica’s development has been slow rates of economic growth. In the past 30 years, Jamaica has had an average annual GDP growth rate of less than one percent. The slow growth rate is a major cause of persistent poverty in Jamaica.
  4. Relationships between Jamaican officials and crime groups cause widespread corruption, which results in many of Jamaica’s problems. The corruption not only hurts law abiding Jamaican citizens, but makes foreign investors far more hesitant to get involved in Jamaican industry.
  5. Public education in Jamaica is not entirely free. There is a registration fee and other school expenses that are not covered by the government. As a result, many of the nation’s most poor children are not able to attend school.
  6. Jamaica jumped 27 places in the 2015 Doing Business ranking, as the Jamaican government has improved its credit rating and decreased the national debt. It is hoped that the improved ranking will increase investment and alleviate poverty in Jamaica.
  7. The World Bank has a positive outlook for Jamaica’s economy, with forecasts of the country’s GDP growth rate climbing to over two percent in 2017.
  8. The Jamaican Government is currently working with the UNDP and the European Union to alleviate poverty on both a macro and micro level. Poverty alleviation and achievement of Millennium Development Goals remains a top priority for the Jamaican government.

Despite Jamaica’s history of poverty and some ongoing problems, economic forecasts for the country remain optimistic. It is possible that Jamaica will experience an economic resurgence and alleviate problems of unemployment and poverty in coming years.

John English

Photo: Pixabay

Children born in poverty

Five Facts About Children Born in Poverty

  1. UNICEF estimates that 39 percent of children in low and middle-income countries are living in extreme poverty. These children born in poverty must survive on less than $1.25 a day. From education to food security, severe poverty impacts nearly every aspect of a child’s life. According to UNICEF, “Nearly half of all deaths in children under five are attributable to undernutrition.” It is estimated that over three million children die every year from hunger.
  2. In countries like Madagascar, the only meal many children receive in a day is school lunch. Malnutrition also causes children to be more susceptible to illnesses like malaria, pneumonia and measles. Several organizations like UNICEF, USAID and Save the Children have programs to provide adequate nutrition to children in developing countries.
  3. A 2015 report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank Group estimated 400 million people were without access to basic healthcare throughout the world. Approximately nine million children under the age of five die yearly. The WHO estimates 70 percent of these deaths are preventable with better access to medical care.
  4. The U.N. reports that children comprise half of the world’s refugee population. These children come from conflict-ridden countries like Syria, Sudan and Iraq and many are internally displaced. Access to adequate healthcare, education and shelter are all challenges refugee children must face. Many of these children lost their entire family to violence within their home countries.
  5. Children born in poverty are also more likely to be affected by mental health problems. Even in developed countries like the U.S., long-term financial stress is linked to poor mental health. Rates of anxiety and depression are higher among low-income individuals. The loss of close family members can also increase the likelihood of adverse mental health for children born in poverty.

Poverty is a cyclical condition and education is crucial to ending chronic poverty. Children born to low-income families are statistically likely to remain impoverished due to a lack of education and opportunities.

The U.N. reports that between the years of 1994 and 2009, “Rural households where the household head had completed primary education were 16 percent less likely to be chronically poor.”

These promising statistics are the driving force behind government-led programs and NGOs to increase access to education.

Saroja Koneru

Photo: Pixabay

Uganda

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) took a stronghold in Northern Uganda in 1986. Its leader, Joseph Kony, commanded his troops to overthrow the Ugandan government by abducting thousands of children and forcing them to work for him.

The Lord’s Resistance Army only had access to Northern Uganda, leaving half of the country in disarray while the other side of the country focused on economic and social advancement.

During its malevolent attacks, the LRA was known to kill the weak and old with machetes, swords, or stones. To further elicit fear, Kony would maim victims, leaving his mark on villages.

Kony’s attacks have scarred and uprooted the lives of nearly all Acholi people, who make up the majority of persons living in Northern Uganda. Due to fear, many have taken refuge and fled their homes. Many continued to stay in hiding even after Kony’s attacks became less frequent beginning in 2006.

Due to Joseph Kony’s reign of terror, nearly the entire population of Northern Uganda was displaced. Little was done to ensure that children had access to education, leaving the region with two generations of uneducated youth.

As the Acholi people began to feel safe enough to return to their homes, they became aware of the destruction that happened in their villages. There were no real jobs available, there was no access to education and there was no infrastructure.

Unlike in the rest of Uganda, where children have a chance to receive an education, the dire lack of facilities in Northern Uganda reinforces the cycle of poverty.

Many international organizations are trying to give Acholi children access to education and to help break the dreadful cycle of poverty that is looming over them. For example, War Child is an organization that seeks to ensure that children’s lives are not ruined by war.

War Child is helping by sending 2,000 of the poorest Acholi children to school. This involves training and giving grants to parents, siblings and other family members. In some cases, the grants are given to children directly, so that they may set up their own income-generating enterprises.

The organization is also training teachers in Northern Uganda to teach at a higher standard and to run schools efficiently. War Child also has a Youth Entrepreneurship Operation which provides loans to young Acholi people money to start their own businesses. War Child provides not only funding, but also mentorship and verbal support.

Between getting children in school, hiring and educating teachers and providing entrepreneurship starting blocks, War Child is bringing hope back to a recovering region. The humanitarian community hopes that other organizations will soon be inspired to undertake similar initiatives, in order to help rebuild lives in Northern Uganda.

Bella Chaffey

Photo: Flickr

Why People Are Still Hungry

why_poverty_is_an_issue

Poverty and hunger are often accepted as issues that have little hope of going away completely because they are so widespread. In reality, however, it is quite the opposite. For example, the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, which could, in turn, lead to dissolving global hunger and some aspects of global poverty.

The World Health Organization reported that between 2006 and 2008, there was enough food available to feed everyone in the world 2,790 calories each day. This amount increased from the 1960’s by 570 calories person/day.

The availability of food to those in poverty has decreased the percentage of chronically malnourished people from 34% in the 1970’s to 15% at the turn of the 21st century.

Despite this increase in available calories and decrease of impoverished people, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found in studies from 2012 to 2014 that “805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were [are] suffering from chronic undernourishment.”

Of that 805 million still undernourished people, 11 million reside in developed countries; however, the other 794 million people are from developing countries.

With enough food available to feed everyone, the question remains: why is the food not being distributed more equitably to those suffering from hunger and malnutrition?

A multitude of reasons go into why the food available is not reaching those who need it. The ability (or lack thereof) to mobilize the food is at the forefront. The cost of shipping food can greatly restrict its ability to be transported to areas in need. However, developed countries waste 222 million tons of food each year. That wasted food requires transportation to landfills. Rather than moving food to landfills, the money to move it could be directed to transporting it to people in need.

The 222 million tons of food wasted each year by developed countries is equal to “the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa,” according to World Environment Day. Making that wasted food available to those impoverished and hungry would drastically improve lives around the world.

A lack of healthcare and education also impacts the poverty rates around the world. Entering the 21st century with a billion people unable to read makes the possibility of rising out of poverty more difficult for individuals.

In a similar way, healthcare hinders the ability of individuals and families to rise out of poverty. When that individual or a family member is sick and unable to work and help the family, it makes feeding the family that much more difficult.

Food, education and healthcare all come back to one another in the world of poverty. As they each improve, it allows for people to worry less about where they are going to get their next meal. As long as food that could feed those in need is going to waste, and the healthcare and education the poor deserve is not being provided, poverty will continue to exist.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Global Issues, 2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics
Photo: Pearls of Profundity