Poverty is one of the major problems in the world. It results due to the inadequate and unequal distribution of resources on the global- level for the survival and well-being of world’s human beings. Globally, all nations are facing the problem of poverty, but there are some continents where the issue is more serious especially in Asia and Africa. In these continents, many people suffer from extreme poverty which greatly affects their health and their life in general. Poverty also attracts other problems like environmental deprivation, diseases, and internal conflict. Due to this, poor people find it difficult to sustain their lives. Therefore, there is a need for poverty to be eradicated for peoples’ living standards to be improved and inequality to be minimized. Eventually, countries will develop economically. Hence, this paper is a description of poverty according to the global perspectives and that of Hong Kong and China. It also addresses what is done to eradicate poverty and the importance of solving the issue to make the world a better place.
According to the World Bank, which is the key source for information regarding extreme poverty in the world, the global poverty line is where a person earns not more than 1.90 dollar a day. Despite the fact that the levels of prices differ in all countries, in the past centuries the poverty line was considered to be exceedingly low than expected. Other people living above the international line of poverty were also considered to be poor due to their adverse living conditions. However, in the current world, poverty is connected to the welfare of human beings where it can be measured via income earned and consumption per day. It is because the living standards of many people have increased with the onset of industries and the growing agricultural activities. For this reason, extreme poverty has constantly reduced over the decades thus increasing the poverty line. Other factors that have contributed to this outstanding achievements is the enhancement of health and development of education globally.
Consequently, due to improved health globally, the population of the world has increased greatly. It has then led to rise of poverty among people although it was on the decrease. For this reason, in the year 2010, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) developed a new way of measuring poverty known as the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Through it, resources could be allocated more efficiently to help reduce poverty. In the year 2011, MPI in its yearly report depicted that in countries like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and China, many people lived below the multidimensional poverty threshold due to high population growth (Bragdon, 2010). According to the World Bank, nations like India and China were affected the most since they suffered from severe deficits in education, health, and standards of living.
Perspective in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, many people are found to live below the line of poverty. People are not supported in any way to improve their poor standards of living. Employees are found to work 50 hours a week which is more than the recommended working time in the world which is 36.5 hours a week. Despite the proposal of the Hong Kong government to ensure that workers specified their working hours, the strategies were not implemented. Instead, the workers continue to feel disappointed since despite working for long hours they are paid low payments. The average income for a person is as little as HK$2,000 per month which is very low to enable one live an ordinary life in the city. The government has also offered inadequate housing to its workers where the remaining individuals reside in illegal and dangerous flats and cage homes. Furthermore, the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, a program for social welfare in Hong Kong, is extremely mean. It does not use its position to assist people solve the problem of poverty hence many other falling below the poverty level.
According to the report made by Hong Kong Poverty Situation in 2015, it is depicted that more than half of those living below the poverty level resided in poor households. It also stated that the number of people living in poverty was on the rise. For this reason, poverty in Hong Kong may never be solved because people working in the region are neglected by the government (Saunders, Wong & Wong, 2014). They do not have suitable retirement protection making it possible that they will suffer from poverty at old age and forever.
To improve the living conditions of people in Hong Kong, Oxfam, an international organization, has greatly made some major contributions to promotion campaigns, educating the public and offering assistance to the local poverty programs. Through this, poverty in Hong Kong will decrease with years, and many individuals will live above the poverty line.
Perspectives in China
Despite many people in China living below the poverty line, the country has struggled where it has lifted many individuals out of poverty. In the recent years as claimed by World Bank, people in China have improved their standards of living. Only a few are found to live on less than $1.90 in one day. It has been achieved due to its development in urbanization and industrialization in most parts of the country (Montalvo & Ravallion, 2010).
In the urban areas of China, many of the people are living above the poverty level. Despite the fact that the advancement is not evenly enjoyed, many of the individuals are earning more than per capita average. Moreover, in cities like Shanghai and Beijing, more than half of the people are earning than the mean. In towns like Guangdong and Zhejiang, people are earning extremely better hence improved living standards of many people in China. On the other hand, in the rural areas of coastal provinces, its workers are living in better conditions with improved per capita income. Through this, poverty in China is on the decrease as many of its citizens are employed.
To ensure that the living conditions of other millions of poor people in the country are improved, the government of China is committed to accomplishing its mission. It aims to decrease the high levels of poverty among its citizens to zero by the year, 2020. The government has fastened its implementations and planned to achieve its task. As pointed out by information provided by the World Bank and United Nations, in the past years, the process of reducing poverty in China has slowed due to increase in the costs used. As a result, the government has opted to reach those in remote areas which are even more expensive.
Personal Point of View
From the above discussions, I think that when individuals stay in extreme poverty, the entire world suffers. It is because poverty threatens public health globally since many cannot afford to sustain them. Many mothers continue dying of complicated problems during child births while their kids tend to die from diseases that are preventable. Poverty also inhibits children from attending schools thus spreading despair and hopelessness among the family members. Additionally, extreme poverty makes many people live in hunger as they cannot afford to buy food for themselves and the children.
Therefore, there is a need for global organizations and governments to make major contributions towards ending poverty all over the world. In this case, many governments have ensured that education is provided to all people to enable the poor realize their dreams. Non-governmental organizations have also taken their responsibility of helping reduce poverty. They are providing food, clothing and medical facilities to the poor to improve their way of living. Hence, a regular helping of the poor will greatly improve their standards of living thus reduce the gap of inequality in the world.
There are future certainties regarding poverty from various forecasting and calculation. It depicts that poverty levels in countries like China and India are likely to decrease intensely by the year, 2030. Conversely, it is challenging to estimate how huge the reductions may result to be. Due to these uncertainties, it allows people to comprehend under several assumptions and scenarios regarding future inequalities. For instance, in China and India, by 2030, poverty may have been eliminated or it may be above the current poverty levels.
Additionally, there is a possibility that in the future, poverty may not be concentrated in China and India. It is because currently, poverty is highly experienced in Middle Income Countries where it has not decreased that much (Sumner, 2010). Through this, there is a probability that by 2030, poverty outside China and India will still be uniformly distributed across the Low Income Countries and Middle Income Countries.
Recycling and Reusing
It is a method that can be used to save money by many people in the world. To ensure that poverty levels are on the decrease, people need to be informed on methods of reusing their household materials. For instance, materials like plastic bags, bottles and cans can be reused thus reducing the costs used by people to obtain other similar materials. The money that could have been used to buy them are used to buy other things like food, clothes or other essential things. Additionally, recycling of materials aids in preserving resources for generations of the future. It is because it reduces the necessity of obtaining other raw materials resulting in utilization of less energy. Therefore, when people in the world consider recycling and reusing the materials, they will minimize on space wastage. The space that could have been used to dispose the materials is used for other activities like the planting of agricultural products. In the end, people will improve their conditions of living as they will comprehend on the importance of maximizing on the available resources.
In general, poverty is an issue that all developed and developing countries should fight together. It is a major global issue that affects all people in all countries hence it should be eradicated. For instance, in continents like India and Africa, many people suffer from extreme poverty which greatly affects their health and their life in general. It also attracts other problems like environmental deprivation, diseases, and internal conflict. In the current world, poverty is connected to the welfare of human beings because of improved standards of living, the enhancement of health and development of education. For this reason, extreme poverty has constantly reduced over the centuries thus increasing the poverty line. However, in Hong Kong, many people are found to live below the line of poverty regardless of the fact that it is a developed city. People in the city work for long hours where at the end they are paid low wages. They also live in poor households’ hence low standards of living. In countries like China, despite many people living below the poverty line, the country has struggled where it has lifted many individuals out of poverty each year. The government has fastened its implementations and plans to decrease the high levels of poverty among its citizens to zero by the year, 2020.
From the explanations, I think that when individuals stay in extreme poverty, the entire world suffers. Therefore, there is a need for global organizations and governments to make major contributions towards ending poverty all over the world. Regarding future certainties, poverty levels in countries like China and India are likely to decrease intensely by the year, 2030. Also, there is the possibility that in the future, poverty may be concentrated in Middle Income Countries. Finally, to decrease poverty levels, people should also learn about recycling and reuse methods. Through this, individuals will save on costs and develop other ways of making money hence improve their standards of living.
Bragdon, J. H. (2010). Price indexes, inequality, and the measurement of world poverty. The American Economic Review, 100(1), i-34.
Sumner, A. (2010). Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion: What if Three‐Quarters of the World’s Poor Live in Middle‐income Countries? IDS Working Papers, 2010(349), 01-43.
Saunders, P., Wong, H., & Wong, W. P. (2014). Deprivation and poverty in Hong Kong. Social Policy & Administration, 48(5), 556-575.
Montalvo, J. G., & Ravallion, M. (2010). The pattern of growth and poverty reduction in China. Journal of Comparative Economics, 38(1), 2-16.