Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest nations in the world. Poverty has defined this nation, despite its potential wealth in untapped natural resources. Generally, the reasons that a nation falls into poverty is very difficult to pinpoint. In an attempt to grasp the problem in the DRC, there must be an understanding of the countries’ geography, health, recent trends in its economy, consequences of the civil strife that has plagued the nation, and current governance. In the DRC more that 50% of the population live below the poverty line which is $1.25(US) per day (Index Mundi). The incidence is higher in rural areas at 64.8% (IFAD). Furthermore, the per capita GDP in 2010 was $300 (CIA World Factbook) compared to the United States at $47,200(CIA World Factbook). Health is also a concern because more than one third of children are considered malnourished. Diseases cause otherwise employable, young people to be out of work which adds a dimension to the issues that contribute to the nations poverty levels. In addition, recent wars have killed millions and continue to affect the economy and society negatively.
To begin addressing the issues in the DRC, geography is an important place to start. Three-fifths of the national territory is covered by a dense equatorial forest. The other two- fifths is savanna. The Congo’s forest includes three major ecosystems: the Mayumbe forest and the Chaillu Massif in the south, and the Great Forest in the north. Soils vary by region and much of the soil is depleted, which makes agriculture difficult. Hydromorphic soils (soils associated with marshes and swamp) are found in the flooded forest in the north, and lateritic soils (red soil under the lush rainforest plants which is virtually stripped of nutrients for agriculture and does not benefit from crop shifting) in the other parts of the country. In addition, deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate (1200 square...
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