The failure or minimal success of some of the strategies geared towards ending poverty in the third world, has encouraged the developed and developing countries, and developmental related agencies to focus on coming up with new theories with the likelihood of more success. Nevertheless, poverty in the third world continues to be a major challenge in the world with many strategies, some successful and others marked with dismal failure coming up to alleviate third world poverty.
Description of Poverty in the Third World Poverty implies a lack of adequate food and shelter, lack of better housing, sanitation, access of safe drinking water attributed to lack of income to facilitate acquisition of basic necessities, a sense of powerlessness, and vulnerability to adverse shocks (Parsed et al, 2005, p. 290). The concept of poverty encompasses a large spectrum of attributes such as levels of income and consumption, health, education, security, and housing.
Nevertheless, poverty is largely an attribute of low income that prevents individuals and families from acquiring and enjoying basic life necessities such as nutritious food, clothing, shelter, and clean water. Regions highly affected by the incidence of poverty are Africa and Asia, also referred as the third world, the developing nations, or less developed countries, although Africa suffers a more rampant extent of poverty compared to Asia (Parsed et al, 2005, p.
290). Among these countries, the poor live mostly on less than a dollar a day, although some live on $2 a day, although the incidence and gap may not be significant either in the African or Asian developing countries. In the past decade, the development of the concept of globalization gave promise to the reduction of poverty in the third world because of the removal of control on free movement of goods and services; however, the initial hope is yet to be realized.
Encouraging the possibility of poverty eradication within the emergence of globalization has been the United Nations and the development of goals towards alleviation of poverty, and the entry of the international community in the process of poverty eradication in the third world. Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals At the turn of the millennium in 2000, the United States member states agreed on eight international development goals to be achieved by 2015 that the countries adopted in 2001 in order to assist impoverished nations and create a sustainable global community.
The first goal of the eight was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, with the target being to half the number of people living on less than a dollar per day and reduce by half the number of people suffering from hunger. From the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and various public, private, and federal agencies worked towards establishing developmental strategies that would facilitate the realization of the goals (Eggen and Bezemer, 2007, p. 1).
The strategies have been constructed mainly along the international community through the UNDP, NGOs funded by international groups, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) towards poverty reduction. Agreeably, poverty reduction especially in the third world has been an ongoing process in many countries. However, its recognition by the UN made it a priority within the international community with the MDGs becoming a coherent expression of global development priorities and an instrument to shape development policies (Eggen and Bezemer, 2007, p.
2). The introduction of the MDGs meant that the world had a standard by which to measure the success of policy interventions in poverty reduction within a certain period. In the discussion of the strategies set towards ending poverty in the third world, the policy interventions attributed to the MDGs, and the international community forms a critical part of the exploration. Therefore, throughout the paper, reference to the MDGs, the international community, and globalization are inevitable.
Strategies towards Ending Poverty in the Third World When considering the interventions being developed towards ending poverty in the third world, one should consider the causes of poverty and their role in determining the responses towards poverty by all key players including inhabitants of third world countries, potential donors, and those from developed countries or economies.
Among some of the determined causes of poverty in the third world first is the high and underdeveloped population in the third world attributed to lack of ability among the people, unwillingness to change traditional ways and customs, lack of proper resource management, lack of attempt at self-improvement, laziness, and lack of knowledge (Panadero and Vazquez, 2008, p. 574).
The second cause is poor governance in third world countries attributed to corruption and inefficiency among the governments, while the third cause is exploitation of the third world countries by other countries especially developed countries and by the world economy and banking systems, and lack of an open market system. The fourth cause of poverty in the third world according to Panadero and Vasquez (2008) is war whereby the governments spend too much on arms and more is spent in restoring the country after a war or keep the country afloat in the course of the war.
Lastly, third world poverty is attributed to natural causes that include diseases, pests and insects that destroy crops, natural disasters because of poor climatic conditions and lack of environmental friendly knowledge. Alleviation and eradication of poverty in the third world will take the effort of the inhabitants of these countries, those from the developed economies and the organizations key to development such as UNDP, World Bank and the IMF.
The effort should focus on strategies that will facilitate reduction and eventual eradication of poverty, and ensuring people from the third world gain the knowledge and provisions needed to prevent them from going back to their current status. Agreeably, the eradication of poverty in the third world requires a multidimensional focus that does not only concentrate on reducing income poverty, which has been the focus of many interventions, but also include interventions geared towards reduction of human deprivation in all dimensions (Chopra, 2005, p.
52). To achieve a global reduction of poverty as per the MDGs by 2015, the third world countries comprising the worlds poorest countries need to pursue wide ranges of reforms with developed nations responding to the effort through improved trade terms and increased aid. According to Chopra (2005), action is critical in ensuring global financial stability and ensuring that poor countries are at par with developed nations in the adoption of technology and in scientific and medical research (p. 52).
Further, the wealthy nations must open their markets to the products of the poor countries, with aid and debt relief increased to help the poor countries help themselves without the interference of the wealthy nations, which has marked most of the intervention programs. Nevertheless, the poor nations need to give voice to their need and influence decision-making in international forums, noting that in most forums the powerful developed countries make much of the decisions related to the development of the poor nations.
Therefore, for the world to end third world poverty and ensure that the global platform allows equal opportunities and competition to all, the international community needs to review existing intervention programs. Among interventions that can aid the process of ending third world poverty that have been part of the implemented strategies, include one promoting equal opportunity through the expansion of economic opportunities for poor people through the stimulation of overall growth (Chopra, 2005, p.
51). Additional strategies towards offering equal opportunity is building up the poor countries assets and increasing the asset returns through market and non-market action. As stated in the discussion of causes of poverty, one of the mentions causes is an underdeveloped population; therefore, offering opportunities for economic expansion will help these populations begin thriving thus facilitate a reduction of poverty.
Furthermore, another attributed cause of poverty is a closed market that does not allow the poor nations to promote their products in the developed nations; however, creation of opportunities through the opening of markets will enable them access the international market. Additionally, the promotion of assets especially within the international community is another strategy of providing equal opportunities to the poor nations.
Second intervention is facilitating empowerment through adoption of accountability in state institutions and response to the needs of the poor people, as well as strengthening the participation of poor people in political processes and local decision-making (Chopra, 2005, p. 52). Further, empowerment requires people be encouraged to participate in political processes, local decision making, and eradicating social barriers that contribute to gender, ethnic, racial, religious, and social distinction.
Dealing with unaccountability in state institutions including governments ensures successful address of some of the cause of poverty, which is corrupt government. Further, strengthening peoples participation in decision-making will provide the link between the people, the leadership, and the resources resulting in better resource usage that has been lacking in many third world countries.
The third factor in addressing poverty in the third world is enlargement of security through reduction of peoples vulnerability to ill health, economic shocks, policy induced dislocations, natural disasters, and violence (Chopra, 2005, p. 52). Notably, health is a significant factor in development because when people are healthy they are more likely to engage in economically productive activities compared to when they are ill or undergoing natural circumstances that reduce their efficiency.
Security should also include protection from violence, and helping the people deal with adverse shocks when they occur. Maintenance of security is important to offer people an opportunity to work towards developmentally beneficial activities without fear of violence, disease, or natural disasters, and incase such events occur people should know their country has the capacity to address them and restore order. The implementation of some of these factors as discussed in the subsequent section has been ongoing in many parts of the third world realizing a steady decline in poverty.
However, the number of the poor continues to be significant denoting a failure in the effective of the strategies, and requiring developmental agencies and developing nations to either adopt different strategies or approach the existing strategies from another side. Nevertheless, one cannot claim that the international community has not been trying to meet the MDGs especially in the third world and some poor parts of the developed nations.