The Poverty Cycle

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What Is The Poverty Cycle?

The Poverty Cycle is a vicious circle which traps people for generations. People caught in the poverty trap usually have limited or no resources to break the cycle. Often outside intervention is the only way to break this dangerous circle.

Poverty leads to hunger. Without a sustainable income, families cannot access the fundamental essentials of safe water, nutritious food and healthcare. Families who consistently go without nutritious food will suffer from chronic hunger, be prevented from performing light tasks, and consequently be unable to improve their lives to break out of the poverty cycle.

Who Does Hunger Affect?

Poverty is the most significant cause of hunger, and approximately 9% of the global population, around 690 million people, are in extreme poverty. Many reasons create poverty, including conflict, drought and natural disaster.

People living in rural areas are more likely to suffer from hunger, and nearly half of the world’s hunger is in South Asia and a third in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hunger affects the weakest, and gender inequality makes women and girls more vulnerable to hunger. All children are susceptible to hunger as they are dependent on adults to provide.

When Does The Poverty Cycle Begin?

A child is born into a poor family with limited or no resources.
A child born into poverty and raised on a diet with little or no nutritious value will stunt physical and mental growth. Children can experience illness due to drinking unsafe water, poor sanitation and lacking a nutritional diet. Mothers can walk miles to collect water, leaving less time to care for their sick children.

Youths have poor nutrition leading to health problems.
Poor development as a young child leads to health problems as a youth, preventing them from going to school and obtaining a basic education to help them learn essential skills.

Adults with a lack of education limits their ability to work.
A lack of education increases the risk of exploitation and hard labour with low wages. Girls are more likely to be married earlier.

Families.
Young women become pregnant and experience poor health during pregnancy, leading to an undernourished child. So the cycle continues.

Why Do People Go Hungry?

There are many reasons why people experience hunger. Some causes are political, social and geographical.

Political
War and Conflict can affect millions of people in a short space of time by reversing economic growth and rapidly displacing people to makeshift camps or migrating to foreign countries. Earning an income becomes an immediate struggle. Poor governance can disempower the vulnerable and create inequality, particularly among women and minority ethnic groups. Social exclusion can significantly affect access to resources and impact poverty.

Geographical
Natural disasters can dramatically affect areas and their crop yield. Smaller farms can cope less with the aftermath of a disaster than larger agri-businesses. The majority of people in poverty have small farms. Climate change is bringing more extreme weather, and countries are experiencing severe droughts and floods, which destroy crops, decrease yields, significantly reduce families’ income, and increase food prices.

Social
People living in poverty-stricken areas often only have access to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation systems. This inevitably leads to sickness, diarrhoea and ultimately malnutrition. People living in poverty have an increased risk of infection from illness and disease due to their body’s limited ability to fight infection caused by a poor nutritional diet. Although HIV is on the decrease in developing countries, a lack of knowledge, poverty, and cultural beliefs still mean there is a high level of HIV transmission. Some HIV medications need to be taken with food to avoid side effects. Therefore, many people living with food insecurity stop taking their medication, which could have the knock-on effect of stopping work reducing the household income. The outcome can mean children with little or no care and an increase in orphans. A lack of transportation infrastructure can seriously hamper people’s attempts to leave their homes to seek employment. A lack of infrastructure can restrict farmers from taking their produce to market, and food goes to waste.

How To Break The Poverty Cycle?

Poverty is a situation and not a choice. Breaking the poverty cycle can be achieved by helping empower communities in education, farming methods and starting businesses.

How To Break The Poverty Cycle?

Education is vital to break the poverty cycle. Education can open doors to jobs and loans to start-up businesses. Education improves knowledge in health and hygiene reduces vulnerability to disease and violence.

There are many barriers to children receiving education. There might not be a qualified person to teach lessons, no classroom or learning materials. Schools might exclude girls and children with disabilities. The distance to a school might be too far, and it is not unknown for children to walk three hours one way. Hunger and poor nutrition can affect children’s focus and learning abilities. They may also be sick due to malnourishment.

Schools can provide children with a safe place, and they are less at risk from violence or exploitation. If girls are in education, there is a reduction in child marriages which benefits their health and well-being. Educated girls are likely to teach their children, helping break the poverty cycle for generations to come.

A basic education can help people gain employment and equip them to run a business. Reading and writing can help with obtaining finance and keeping records.

Economic Empowerment

Educating farmers in methods and technologies for a sustainable approach for producing food will help farmers grow food without damaging the soil and the environment. Using improved farming techniques will help increase yields, so farmers have enough food for their families and have produce to sell, creating a solid business.

With education and a strong business, farmers can take out low-interest loans to invest in their families and build their businesses. Encouraging saving habits will raise more money for investments and increased capital meaning higher economic growth in communities.

If adults can have access to safe water and nutritional food, they will become healthier, and no longer live in a survival mode. Babies will be born to healthy parents with enough money saved to send children to school. So the poverty cycle starts to break.

You can Make a Difference

Today, 805 Million People Are Suffering From Hunger.
With Your Help, We Can Provide Food Parcels To Save Lives.