Given the increasing interrelationships between countries, globalization necessitates a shift in the framework of poverty analysis so that poverty at the household, community, and national level is analysed in a global context. By all standards, poverty qualifies as a global issue, which has the capacity of engendering conflict if not seriously addressed. Furthermore, poverty has never been an isolated problem manifesting in a particular pocket, region, nation or continent. Poverty is of global significance because the phenomenon has assumed a global character. Poverty, a perennial and complex multi-dimensional problem, has therefore become a global challenge. The compendia on this subject provide a revelatory insight into the situation. A quarter of the world’s population, that is 1.3 billion, lives in severe poverty. Nearly 800 million people do not get enough food, and about 500 million are chronically malnourished. More than a third of the children of this world are malnourished. More than 840 million adults are illiterates of who 538 million are women and about 1.2 billion people live without access to safe drinking water.
Pursuant to the foregoing, poverty amid plenty has become the world’s greatest challenge. Poverty is now a global phenomenon, which poses danger to the survival of humanity. It therefore follows that no country of the world is completely insured from the scourge of poverty though with varying degrees. From the poverty indicators identified by Maxwell, which include income or consumption poverty, human (under)development, social exclusion, ill-being, (lack of) capability and functioning, vulnerability, livelihood unsustainability and lack of basic needs; the poorest people in a developed nation may well be richer than the average citizen of a less developed country. The point being made is that the scourge of poverty is a common denominator in the global community, but with a higher degree of entrenchment in the developing world.
Does globalization lack the control mechanism that should propel the same level of economic growth across regions to keep the poverty profile in the developing world low, in tandem with the general situation in the developed world?
While the anti-globalization forces strongly articulate the negative connection, the neoliberal proponents articulate the poverty reducing effect of globalization. This division describes the parallel dynamics in the interface between globalization and poverty.
What appears to be real, however, is that the developing world is not on the same pedestal as the developed world with reference to the gains accruing from globalization. It appears that the negative relationship, put forward by the anti-globalization forces, best explains the practical realities in developing countries. If this argument holds, then it means that the current globalization regime is defective both in scope and principle. To address the precarious situation in the developing world, the paper recommends that the global order must tend toward the poor and vulnerable through a more equitable and robust relationship, while also agitating greatly for the need to promote State capacities in the developing world
In order not to lose touch with reality, the approach here transcends the cosmetic nature of theories by focusing on the practical experiences of the developing world. From the historical period to the contemporary, using world development indicators, the Global South has repeatedly been the most miserable pole. As demonstrated in the previous sections, regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America have devastating poverty statistics. Going by recent development dynamics, the only exceptions are probably china and India. With 38 per cent of the world’s population, China and India shape world trends in poverty and inequality. They have grown very fast over the past decades. Poverty figures for the developing world would have been worst had China...
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