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Cyprus is one of the largest islands in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, situated 283 miles off the Turkish Coast. It has a vibrant history, troves of archaeological treasures, wild landscapes and abundant mineral wealth. Since 1974, the country has been partitioned between Turkish and Greek-Cypriots. As a result of this artificial division, evaluating government services like education in Cyprus is problematic.

Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) while the EU recognizes the Republic of Cyprus. A U.N. peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) patrols the demilitarized zone between the populations to provide security in a buffer known as the Green Line. On May 19, Cyprus reunification peace talks stalled over Turkish-Cypriot demands for oil and gas exploration rights and Greek-Cypriot requests for territory concessions.

Because of the reunification problem, education in Cyprus is difficult to quantify, but here are five facts.

  1. Primary education is compulsory for six years. Students then attend secondary school for six years, comprised of lower and upper levels lasting three years each.
  2. According to the 2015 PISA, the international student assessment of math, science and reading skills among 15-year-olds, Cyprus falls below average in all three areas. The nation’s results in the newest category — collaborative problem solving — has not been released.
  3. Technical and vocational education in Cyprus lasts for two years after secondary school. These pathways are not well-supported compared to university programs.
  4. Cyprus is known for the percentage of students graduating from colleges and universities. The government recently created an Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation. At present, there are three public and five private universities.
  5. PISA, as administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), measures student well-being as well as academic skills. The results of the 2015 PISA indicate that Cypriot secondary school student life satisfaction is lower than average.

Gathering statistics on education in Cyprus is difficult given the reunification problem. This rift has made it difficult to remove the deadlock which impedes socio-economic growth. Moreover, the efficiency of public spending has remained an issue for the nation’s development — particularly in education. At present, there is no single statistical office which represents all of the Cypriot people.

Hopefully, organization and unification will soon be established and improve the quality and seriousness of education in Cypress.

JG Federman

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Turkey
Despite having one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Turkey needs to address its poverty problems. Recent data shows that child poverty in Turkey is spinning out of control, especially among rural populations. Located where Western Asia meets Southeast Europe, Turkey has a population of over 80 million people, with about 30 percent of the population under the age of 18. Many of these children lack basic necessities, such as education and medical care.

According to a recent report, two out of every three children are affected by child poverty in Turkey. This data is based on the European Union standards of living, which evaluates the material deprivation of the average household. The report explains that when making international comparisons, child poverty in Turkey is extremely severe and persistent. UNICEF builds on this by stating that as poverty continues to grow out of control, more Turkish children are threatened by the poverty threshold.

Rural populations are significantly further behind compared to the urban population in terms of education and wages. In rural areas, many schools lack teachers, which forces schools to accommodate as many as 100 students per classroom. These large classrooms lead to poor educational outcomes. Additionally, thousands of young girls in Turkey are out of school or denied education. This lack of education leads to poor wages and job opportunities, with some families resorting to child labor or child marriage in order to make ends meet.

Children are often times denied proper healthcare. According to UNICEF, immunization rates for childhood diseases are in need of improvement, especially in rural areas. There is also roughly 2,000 children with HIV/AIDS, with UNICEF believing the numbers are likely higher.

Steps are being made to address child poverty in Turkey. The Turkish government has made ongoing efforts to improve medical care for children, educational opportunities for girls and prenatal care for mothers. Additionally, UNICEF has partnered with Procter & Gamble and has helped educate 250,000 mothers about better parenting.

Experts state that it is absolutely crucial that Turkey addresses these impoverished living conditions since child poverty is one of the root causes of poverty in adulthood. One expert named Didem Gürses writes that “in order to break the generational cycle, poverty reduction must begin in childhood.”

Child poverty in Turkey must be addressed if Turkey wishes to end poverty and have a successful future.

Morgan Leahy

Photo: Flickr

Madagascar_Woman
During a presidential tour of Madagascar on Jan. 25, 2017, Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan addressed the need for increased educational opportunities for women and girls. Erdoğan’s inauguration of the Women’s Education Center in Madagascar was just one of the facets of her visit to the country. Erdoğan and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Madagascar as part of a campaign to strengthen ties between the two countries and encourage Turkish investment in Madagascar’s economy.

More than half of the 17 million people living in Madagascar are children. What’s more, half of Madagascar’s population subsists on less than $1 a day. This makes the subject of education all the more critical to the country’s development. While Madagascar’s education system has steadily improved over the past 10 years, some regions must work hard to ensure gender parity for their students, particularly in lower secondary education.

Following a coup d’état in 2009, much of Madagascar’s foreign aid was withdrawn, and the economy has since been slow to recover. Poverty increased sharply, infrastructure deteriorated and educational funding was slashed. The Turkish first lady’s inauguration of the Women’s Education Center in Madagascar comes at a time when increased focus on education is a necessity: UNICEF estimates that while 75 percent of children at the primary level are enrolled, roughly 1.5 million are still out of school, and gender parity remains a concern.

The goal of the Women’s Education Center in Madagascar is to empower women and support African development. It offers courses to roughly 100 women in fields such as horticulture, technology, cooking and textile work. In addition, the African Handicrafts Market and Culture House in Ankara, Turkey, will sell crafts produced by women at the center. All proceeds will go back to Madagascar.

The center is a highlight of the work done by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). TIKA provided $3.9 billion in development aid in 2015, and is active in 140 countries. Further, during his tour, President Erdoğan encouraged his country’s investors and entrepreneurs to become involved with Madagascar’s National Development Project. The project aims to increase funding and revenue from areas such as tourism, agriculture and construction.

The Turkish first lady’s inauguration of the Women’s Education Center in Madagascar illustrates a step forward for education in the country. It is especially important for women who support struggling communities. The school serves as a symbol of resilience and stimulation for the minds of young women, the economy and society.

Emily Marshall

Photo: Flickr

 

Syrian Refugees
The Syrian war that began six years ago is still wreaking havoc on millions of lives. What started as civil unrest instigated by the arrest of schoolboys in 2011, has turned into a multifaceted crisis characterized by anarchic violence. About 470,000 Syrians have died while 14.9 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance with the largest internally displaced population of 6.5 million, 2.8 million of which are children. Additionally, millions have fled Syria to find safe refuge from the depredations of multiple wars. For many, the fight to survive still continues. Here are ten facts about Syrian refugees.

  1. Long, strenuous hikes through deserts, facing dangers such as being targeted by snipers or arrested at the borders, is what refugees endure to enter neighboring countries. About 4.9 million refugees have migrated to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and some North African countries.
  2. Turkey has the largest population of Syrian refugees in one country at 2.81 million. About 80% of the refugees living in Southeast Turkey are deprived of all humanitarian aid due to the ongoing conflict. Lack of job opportunities further exacerbates their crisis, compelling many to move to Europe. The year 2015 saw a mass exodus of 800,000 refugees from Turkey to Greece.
  3. Child labor is another horror of this crisis affecting children in both camps and cities. Kids are less likely to be impugned if caught engaging in illegal work and therefore resort to menial jobs to sustain their families’ basic needs. The average age of working children is 14, but even 5-year-olds have been found engaged in jobs such as collecting trash, working in restaurants, cleaning, loading goods, metalwork and carpentry.
  4. In spite of enhanced access to food, shelter and education, only 10% of the refugees live in camps. While some are unable to enter due to overcrowding, the majority leave at great risks in search of independence and normalcy. They are tired of living on handouts and want to provide for their kids. Preservation of their dignity is the foremost reason many Syrian refugees forego the relative security of camps.
  5. Expended savings and lack of work have resulted in a significant number living below the poverty line with 93% in Jordan, 70% in Lebanon and 65% in Egypt. The high costs of work permits ranging from $170 to $1,270 and the lack of experience force refugees to work in low paying seasonal jobs. Lack of registration also prevents refugees from being able to work legally.
  6. The main priorities for refugees in urban communities include rent, food and health. Most live in inadequate dwellings, some without electricity or plumbing, and they often share accommodations with other families. Rents account for about two-thirds of their expenses leaving them shorthanded for basic needs like food and healthcare. Government policy allows food distribution for only camp residents. Refugees in urban communities tend to go unnoticed and suffer from the perception that they are less vulnerable.
  7. The strain on the economy, infrastructure and social services in host countries have led to resentment against the refugees. A large influx into cities has resulted in inflation of rents, overcrowding of schools and lower wages. Jordan imposed stricter restrictions on entry in 2014 while Turkey is building a border wall. About 176 refugees, including 31 children, were killed by the Turkish border guards in 2016. About 80,000 refugees are forsaken at the borders in crude settlements without toilets, electricity or clean water and 1,000 refugees return to Syria from Jordan weekly. In addition to frequent raids, Lebanese law since 2015 requires refugees to pay $200 annually for a residence permit along with proof of sponsorship.
  8. Displacement has also drastically hindered education, the only means to safeguarding these children’s futures against the traumatic experiences of this crisis. About 700,000 Syrian children in neighboring countries are out of school. In spite of efforts by host countries, a large percentage are deprived of education. In Lebanon, approximately 250,000 are out of school. Only three percent of the 82,744 registered refugees aged 15-18 attended school in 2015. In Jordan, over 80,000 refugee children did not have access to education in 2015.
  9. While a majority of refugees are in neighboring countries, about one million have requested asylum in Europe including 300,000 in Germany and 100,000 in Sweden. Canada is leading in North America with 40,081 Syrian refugees as of January 2017. President Obama welcomed more than 10,000 Syrian refugees during his tenure.
  10. Refugees desperate for the European shores embark on what they refer to as the“journey of death.” Many make multiple attempts, overcoming unimaginable hazards at the middle eastern shores before facing the dangers of the sea. Although the number dropped significantly after the EU-Turkey deal, about 80,000 refugees arrived in Greece between January and October 2016 and the riskier route from Libya to Italy was crossed by more than 115,000. About 4,176 lives were lost resulting in an average of 11 men, women and children dying daily for a year.

Refugees are willing to risk their lives to live freely without fear. When asked why they would subject themselves to such life-threatening risks, their responses resonate with hope in the face of death. Syrian refugees are on the precipice of desperation, trying to stay optimistic. They make these perilous journeys across the globe in search of a future for themselves and their children. There are no alternative motives.

Preeti Yadav

Photo: Flickr

Least Developed Countries
Classified as the least developed countries (LDCs) by the United Nations, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries have one more organization fighting in their corner. On Dec. 23, the United Nations General Assembly established the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries, which will be headquartered in Turkey.

Least Developed Countries

The United Nations uses gross national income (GNI), human assets and degree of economic vulnerability to determine which countries are given LDC status. The U.N. General Assembly formed the LDC category in 1971 to bring attention and support to its most disadvantaged members. According to the U.N., there were 48 LDCs in 2014: 34 in Africa, 13 in Asia and the Pacific and one in Latin America.

Resolution A/71/L.52

Officially named Resolution A/71/L.52, this new institution’s purpose is to help these countries “build the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) capacity that they need to promote the structural transformation of their economies, eradicate poverty and foster sustainable development.” The U.N. expects to have the Technology Bank operational this year. It will be funded by contributions from member states, the private sector and foundations.

Istanbul Programme of Action

The concept of a technology bank originated from the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), which was adopted in 2011. It charts the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs. One of the key elements of this 10-year program was putting a strong emphasis on technological innovation and technology transfer to LDCs. It specifically called for the establishment of a technology bank that would “help improve LDCs’ scientific research and innovation base, promote networking among researchers and research institutions, [and] help LDCs access and utilize critical technologies.”

Sustainable Development Goal 17

This latest effort to provide technological support to LDCs also fulfills a part of the larger goals set forth by world leaders. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in September 2015, and it features 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Part of SDG 17 is to “fully operationalize the technology bank,” and this latest action taken by the U.N. is a step in that direction.

Gyan Chandra Acharya is the U.N. Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). He was pleased to see the establishment of the Technology Bank, and said, “The global community has a responsibility to ensure that these nations are supported as they make progress towards strengthening their science, technology and innovation capacities…[This] is a vital milestone in this journey.”

Kristin Westad

Photo: Flickr

So Where Are the Main Syrian Refugee Camps Located?
Since its outbreak in 2011, the Syrian civil war has created an estimated 11 million refugees. Many of these refugees have fled to neighboring countries, but the conflict has created a global refugee crisis. Contrary to popular belief, however, only an estimated one in 10 of these refugees live in camps. So where are Syrian Refugee Camps? Most are located in the surrounding countries of Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Greece.

Turkey

Although Turkey houses more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees, their camps can only house 200,000 people. This has become a cause for concern as photos from these camps show extremely cramped and dangerous conditions. While life in these camps is often less than ideal, the UK has deemed Turkey to be a safe country for refugees.

Jordan

Jordan hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees. The largest Syrian refugee camp in the world is located in Jordan, and the conditions here are much better than camps found in other parts of the world. This camp called Zaatari is home to 3,000 refugee-owned businesses. These businesses provide entrepreneurial opportunities for refugees and contribute to Jordan’s economy, generating an estimated $13 million per month.

Iraq

Iraq is home to more than 200,000 Syrian refugees, and all of these refugees are in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government. Camps here, such as the al-Hol camp have become home to both Syrian refugees and Iraqi citizens fleeing violence in places like Mosul, resulting in extremely crowded conditions. As the number of Syrian refugees shows no sign of slowing, access to basic necessities in these camps is becoming a serious concern.

Greece

Where are Syrian refugee camps in Europe? Many exist in Greece, where conditions are often dismal. Human rights groups have raised concerns about the conditions that Syrian refugees are facing in Greek camps as they wait for asylum or relocation. Many of these camps are overcrowded, and refugees have reported poor hygiene, a lack of medical care and dehydration. The situation for refugees living in Greek camps is especially dangerous with the impending onset of a cold winter.

In 2014, the U.N. refugee agency reported the highest total number of displaced people since World War II. Syria is one of the three countries with the most refugees, and the situation within the country shows no signs of improving. This refugee crisis is a humanitarian disaster and it is imperative that the global community respond by ensuring better living conditions for those seeking asylum and those living in Syrian refugee camps.

Eva Kennedy

Photo: Flickr

Refugees_Turkey
Refugees in Turkey impose a crisis on the country, as it is currently hosting over 3 million people — the largest refugee population in the world. Syrian nationals embody a majority of the refugee population — a consequence of the devastation inflicted by five years of civil war.

Here are 10 facts about Turkey’s refugee population:

  1. As of July 28, 2016, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR) reports that there are 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey. Those registered as of July 31, 2016 have origins in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.
  2. Human Rights Watch estimated that 250,000 Syrian refugees are residing in one of the 25 government administrated camps. The remaining estimated 2 million refugees in Turkey live outside the camps and often struggle to find housing while they live in abject poverty.
  3. According to Project Hope, an international health care organization, Turkey has created an ID card system to provide registered Syrian refugees with free health care and education.
  4. Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that since 2011, Turkey has spent more on those living outside the camps (around $30 billion), compared with about $10 billion on those living in the camps. And according to Human Rights Watch, the government has been increasingly under pressure to generate sufficient resources for a growing refugee population.
  5. The World Food Programme joined the Turkish Red Crescent in 2012 to form the Electronic Food Card Programme for Syrian refugees residing in camps. Each card given to households has a monthly stipend which allows individuals to purchase food.
  6. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) reported that it will fund the Faculty for Refugees in Turkey, providing €3 billion in humanitarian aid and development in 2016 and 2017.
  7. In the last year and a half according to the Washington Post, about 1 million refugees, mostly Syrian nationals have traveled illegally to Greece via Turkey. The journey by sea on small boats is costly and very dangerous — many have died.
  8. In January, Syrian refugees were permitted to work legally in Turkey after the government issued work permits, and in July, Al-Monitor reported that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was planning to offer citizenship to 300,000 Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
  9. According to The Economist, the flow of refugees traveling to Europe has slowed in recent months because of a deal brokered between the EU and Turkey in March. The plan is controversial with human rights groups but allows migrants and refugees that came to Europe from Turkey to be sent back. In exchange, Turkey is to receive €6 billion in assistance for refugees, have renewed EU membership talks and visa-free travel in the Schengen area for Turkish citizens.
  10. In an August interview with Le Monde newspaper, President Erdoğan said that readmissions of migrants and refugees will stop if the EU does not implement the visa-free travel. The readmissions were to begin on June 1.

A thwarted coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 has generated concern as to the possible implications it could have on the March EU-Turkey deal to end erratic migration from Turkey to the EU. Prior to the coup attempt, there were EU concerns going forward with the deal, and this unease may now be heightened due to the internal disquiet occurring presently in the country.

Heidi Grossman

Photo: Flickr

Refugees in TurkeyRefugees are flooding into Turkey daily, which currently hosts over 3 million people — the largest refugee population in the world. Syrian nationals make up a majority of the refugees in Turkey, a consequence of the devastation inflicted by five years of civil war.

10 Facts About Turkey’s Refugee Population

  1. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that there are 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey as of July 28, 2016. The total refugee population registered in Turkey as of July 31, 2016 includes people from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.
  2. Human Rights Watch states an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees are residing in one of the 25 camps administrated by the government. The remaining 90 percent of the refugee population live outside these camps.
  3. According to Project Hope, an international healthcare organization, Turkey has created an identification card system to provide registered Syrian refugees free health care and education.
  4. Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey spent more on those living outside the camps, between $20 and $25 billion, compared to about $10 billion on those living in the camps since 2011. According to Human Rights Watch, the government has been increasingly under pressure to generate sufficient resources for a growing refugee population.
  5. The World Food Programme partnered with the Turkish Red Crescent in 2012 to form the Electronic Food Card Program for Syrian refugees residing in camps. Each household is given a card containing a monthly stipend that allows individuals to purchase food inside and outside of the camps.
  6. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has reported it will fund the Faculty for Refugees in Turkey, providing 3 billion euros in humanitarian aid and development in 2016 and 2017.
  7. According to the Washington Post, about 1 million refugees, mostly Syrian nationals, have traveled illegally to Greece via Turkey in the last year and a half. The journey by sea on small boats is costly, very dangerous and many have died.
  8. In January 2016, Syrian refugees were permitted to work legally in Turkey after the government issued work permits. Al-Monitor reported that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was planning to offer Turkish citizenship to up to 300,000 Syrian refugees living in Turkey in July 2016.
  9. According to the Economist, the flow of refugees traveling to Europe slowed in recent months because of a deal brokered between the EU and Turkey in March 2016. The plan is controversial with human rights groups but allows migrants and refugees that came to Europe from Turkey to be sent back. In exchange, Turkey will receive 6 billion euros in assistance for refugees, renewed EU membership talks and visa-free travel in the Schengen area for Turkish citizens.
  10. In an August 2016 interview with Le Monde newspaper, President Erdoğan said readmissions of migrants and refugees will stop if the EU does not implement the visa-free travel which was to begin simultaneously with readmissions on June 1.

A thwarted coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 generated concern as to the possible implications it could have on the EU-Turkey deal agreed to in March to end erratic migration from Turkey to the EU.

Prior to the coup attempt, there were EU concerns going forward with the deal. This unease may now be heightened due to the internal disquiet occurring presently in the country.

Heidi Grossman

Photo: Flickr

Fighting Poverty
The United Nations Development Programme has recently collaborated with the top Turkish soccer club, Galatasaray Sports Club, to help promote the Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s leading poverty eradication initiative.

After winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000, the Turkish soccer club has kept worldwide support for its athletic ventures. With stars like Wesley Sneijder representing the team, fans of international competitions have taken their enthusiasm to the club scene. Galatasaray is able to add on an impressive domestic following with over 20 local league cup wins, and in addition, has established bases in Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul.

Four of the iconic Galatasaray players, “captain Selçuk İnan of Turkey, goalkeeper Fernando Muslera of Uruguay, Aurélien Chedjou of Cameroon, and the Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder,” starred in a video promoting the new partnership between the football club and the UNDP. In the video, the players stress the idea of “leave no one behind” in a world where many are forgotten in poverty.

Outside of the film room, the club continues to make its mark. Along with the UNDP, “Galatasaray will raise funds for a diversity of programmes to tackle poverty, inequalities and exclusion across the world,” according to a UNDP article.  Even so, this isn’t the first Turkish soccer club that has set humanitarian goals. In 2014 and 2015, the organization assisted with the relief of flooded communities and victims of mining disasters.

Soccer unites people despite language, geographic and political barriers. The World Cup is the single most watched sporting event in the world, with over 700 million viewers watching the 2010 final. Millions of children, and even adults, admire the stars that play on their favorite teams. It’s only natural that these spotlighted individuals should take the lead in the fight against global poverty.

France’s Zinedine Zidane and Brazil’s Ronaldo are two iconic examples of soccer stars joining the fight against poverty. Last year the duo, along with many other stars such as van de Sar and Seedorf, put together the 12th annual Match Against Poverty, in conjunction with the UNDP and EUFA, the European soccer authority. The money from the tickets which cost “from €8 to €12” went to “aid specific projects in different countries dealing with difficult challenges.”

With power and wealth on the line, soccer’s role models quickly become the hopes and dreams of children all around the world. Youth most affected by poverty in countries with glorified soccer stars use the potential for glory and riches as motivation to conquer their own situations. Sometimes, the stories of players they watch are not unlike their own.

In Brazil, Adriano and Ronaldo are just two of those kids that have climbed out of poverty with their skills on the ball. A talent scout for Flamengo, a local professional club, says, “For Brazilian kids growing up in some of the world’s roughest neighborhoods, soccer is a ray of hope amid violence and poverty.” Around 800 Brazilian kids are able to escape the country and poverty with professional soccer careers, which is not many when the population size is considered.

Professional soccer careers are not the logical solution to poverty, but the sport is promoting poverty’s eradication in ways like Galatasaray’s public service announcement, which is in association with the Sustainable Development Goals. Soccer’s far-reaching scope and enthusiastic following can increase awareness and support for the goals of ending poverty.

Jacob Hess

Photo: Flickr

countries
As our world becomes increasingly globalized, formerly developing nations are gaining access to new technology and experiences that have allowed them to jump leaps and bounds in the matter of a few years. This rapid evolution of a country’s standing has led to massive changes in the global community as a whole, but several countries stand out above the rest as strong contenders in the globalized market. Five countries on the rise can be found below:

1. Turkey

Over the past year, Turkey experienced a growth rate of over 11 percent, one that surpasses even that of China. This nation has been able to foster its manufacturing and democratic systems gently even as the nations around it fell to the pressure of the global community’s demands. Turkey’s focus on exports has increased job availability overall and has drastically reduced poverty in the nation. Turkey has realized that the key to success is to focus on the happiness of its people, and with increased employment opportunity and decreased poverty, Turkey has set itself up to become a major world power.

2. Mexico

According to a recent Brookings Metropolitan Policy release, Mexico City is one of the most economically vibrant cities in the world. The 12th largest economy in the world has become a hub for business, and through promotion of entrepreneurial spirit, it has experienced income and employment growth. All of this growth is steady because much of Mexico’s export profits come from the United States, which provides a steady dollar currency. Once a hub for crime and poverty, Mexico is quickly becoming a contender for one of the world’s strongest and happiest nations.

3. Democratic Republic of the Congo

For several decades, people have associated the Congo with horrible war, poverty, disease and death, but with the promise of a more stable government, things are beginning to look up for the Congolese people. Much of the war that takes place in the Congo is over its bountiful mineral fields, which provide vital minerals that are used in almost every electronic device today. Major companies buy their products from war-torn regions without realizing what their needs are doing to the people within, but with the recent increase in more conscientious shopping, companies are beginning to watch what they use. The promise of a stable government means a decrease in war, an increase in legislation, an increase in local miners getting mineral profits and an overall decrease in poverty throughout the DRC.

4. India

While India has been on the rise for quite a few years now, it continues to grow and develop, and with the second highest population in the world, it has set itself up to become one of the world’s new superpowers. India’s main asset is its tech abilities and manufacturing. Several companies have plants in India that create their products for export, and with the massive amount of manpower that India can provide, they find no issues arising. India’s poverty rates continue to decline and their education rates continue to increase and will continue to do so with the use of the U.N. Standard Development Goals, essentially creating a brighter future today.

5. Nigeria

Nigeria has long been thought of as the most developed country in Africa and has been cited in several speeches and talks by citizens and politicians as such. With the strong technology boom coming in from the West as well as the investment in Africa by foreign NGOs, Nigeria has set itself up to become the strongest nation in Africa. With a more stable government and a more united public it will become a force to be reckoned with in the global community.

While several nations, such as China and the United States, have long enjoyed the relaxation and innovation that comes with life on the top, it appears as though they need to slide over and make some room because these five countries are ready to join them.

Sumita Tellakat

Sources: The Atlantic, CS Monitor
Photo: CS Monitor