The End of Poverty

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Delving into Jeffrey Sachs’s book, The End of Poverty, Sachs addresses the major issues he has observed and studied that are hurting developing and emerging countries. All intertwining and making each other problem worse (or at an unfortunate stalemate), Sachs discusses issues of these countries to include disease, hunger and extreme poverty. Disease does a lot of the killing. Malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, diarrhea, respiratory infection and beyond kill people everyday (Sachs, 2006, pg. 1). On top of that, these countries don’t have access to proper drugs or means to prevent such diseases.

Other hurdles plaguing these developing nations also exist that the MLOs try to address, like equality, education and resources. Sachs believes that despite these obstacles, there are still economic opportunities that exist which can bring these emerging countries from their rut.

mmalawi

Sachs uses Malawi as a primary example of one of these struggling developing nations. He cites Carol Bellamy of UNICEF, who “described Malawi’s plight as the perfect storm, a storm that brings together climate disaster, impoverishment, the AIDS pandemic, and the long-standing burdens of malaria, schistosmiasis, and other diseases,” (Sachs, 2006, p.10). A less-than-ideal landlocked location and crops withered away by drought make having a nutritionally balanced diet, or enough of a diet at all, difficult.

AIDS is an epidemic in Malawi. There is a hospital, but there is no treatment program yet in place for the “roughly nine hundred thousand Malawians infected with the HIV virus and currently dying of AIDS.” (Sachs, 2006, pg. 8). The country has arrangements with Cipla, a generic Indian drug producer, but the people of Malawi cannot even afford a dollar out of pocket for the drugs. The Vice President of Malawi, Mulawesi, has led a team of experts to design a national AIDS strategy, a team that has traveled all over the world in order to discuss ideas to fight the disease.

 

Vice President of Malawi

Vice President of Malawi

Contrasting Malawi a bit, Bangladesh has made a bit of economic process because of sweatshop jobs that are present for women. I wouldn’t count horrible working conditions, lack of codes and long, sweaty hours in a factory as a life of luxury, but at least there is some capital gain.

“Some rich-country protesters have argued that Dhaka’s apparel firms should either pay far high wage rates or be closed, but closing such factories as a result of wages forced above worker productivity would be little more than a ticket for these women back to rural misery,” (Sachs, 2006, p.13).

Sachs suggests that these protestors should, instead, support an increased number of jobs but under safer working conditions and with different trade agreements.

Higher up on the ladder, India has been impacted economically by the IT revolution, thus helping the country flourish. Indian IT workers are part of the middle-income world, but a class that wouldn’t be recognized as “middle class” by the standards of rich countries. “ Still, as Malawi, Bangladesh and India demonstrate, technology and jobs can help pull people, and a country, out of extreme poverty.

IT

In Malawi, 84 percent of the population lives in rural areas; in Bangladesh, 76 percent; in India, 72 percent…” (Sachs, 2006, p. 18). So although a portion of the Indian population can work these jobs, most of the population doesn’t work in the nations cities to have this luxury.

 

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