Poverty has become a global pandemic across the world. Poverty levels were accelerated by the outbreak of Covid-19. The effects of Covid-19 included loss of jobs, death of breadwinners, while many people were locked in their houses. Besides, the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to high costs of living across the world. As a result, poverty levels have increased a lot. Many families can barely afford basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.
But then, what are the top 10 causes of poverty? Let's look at some.
Top 10 Causes of Poverty in the World
Besides Covid-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine, there are many other causes of poverty across the world. These causes include:
1. High Cost of Living
The main cause of poverty is the high cost of living. When the prices of basic commodities are high and people cannot afford them, they live in dire poverty. Many families end up skipping meals because they cannot afford them. When the cost of housing is so high, people spend all their money on basic necessities leaving them with nothing to save. This leads to a vicious cycle of poverty.
Read also: Will the cost of living go down?
2. Lack and Loss of Jobs
Another top 10 cause of poverty is the lack of jobs. When people don’t have an income, they are not able to meet their personal needs and those of their families. It also becomes a challenge to meet the basic needs.
Even jobs in the agricultural sectors become hard to find since there is no enough arable land. As a result, food production levels are negatively affected and cost of living goes high. Consequently, people slide into poverty.
3. Lack of Education
Lack of education is also a top 10 cause of poverty across the world. When people are educated, they become enlightened and can think of ideas to solve problems; and the reverse is true. Education empowers people and instills skills in them.
When people don't have skills such as masonry and carpentry, they cannot even employ themselves. They end up relying on employment, which may not be forthcoming. Education opens people’s minds to a world of opportunities and they are able to think of various ways to generate an income.
4. Wars and Conflicts
Wars and conflicts across the world are a major cause of poverty. For instance, the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to high costs of living. When countries are fighting, economic activities are disrupted and properties are destroyed. As a result, businesses are closed and there is no productivity.
Besides, families are broken as people go into hiding while others die. As a result, women and children suffer the most. In most cases, women are left to be the main breadwinners.
5. Climate Change
The changing weather and climate patterns have led to less food production. Many countries across the world rely on agricultural produce. Due to climate change, agriculture has failed and crop produce has been adversely affected due to drought.
Besides, there is no arable land where crops can be grown. Agricultural land and water catchment areas have been habited by humans. As a result, food production has greatly reduced and people cannot even invest in the agricultural sector.
6. Poor and High-Cost Healthcare
Poor and high cost of healthcare is one of the main causes of poverty. People are ailing from various diseases and cannot access good healthcare. Many people die in their homes because they cannot access affordable health care. Besides, they spend all their savings accessing healthcare services.
When people are in good health, they are productive, and the reverse is true. To solve the issue of the high cost of healthcare, governments should invest in health insurance for all citizens, whether rich or poor.
7. Lack of Government Support
Some of the countries with the highest levels of poverty are where governments don’t support social welfare programs. The government has a responsibility to avail essential services like healthcare, education, and water supply.
Where the government doesn’t provide these services, people live in dire poverty. Besides, when the cost of living goes high, if the government doesn’t subsidize essential services, many people slide into poverty.
8. Inequality and Social Injustices
Inequality occurs when people don’t have equal access to resources and opportunities. When people cannot access opportunities due to factors like gender, economic situation, and race, people become poor.
Discrimination like gender discrimination makes the less privileged people continue living in poverty. It is because they do not have equal opportunities to bail themselves out of poverty. In many countries where levels of poverty are high, women and children suffer the most.
9. Poor Infrastructure
Where there is poor infrastructure like roads, electricity, and public transport, people live in poverty. Lack of infrastructure leaves people isolated and ends up spending a significant part of their income paying for infrastructure. Infrastructure helps people easily access services and resources at lower costs, thereby saving them lots of expenses.
Read more: Ways to reduce poverty in Africa.
10. Lack of Food and Water
Lack of food and water is the other cause of poverty in the world. Lack of access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation causes poverty and outbreak of water-borne diseases. In many countries, water is a problem that makes it very challenging to venture into agriculture. When there is access to water, even farming becomes easy and people can easily grow crops.
Summary: What are the 10 Causes of Poverty?
The above are the main causes of poverty across the world. the main cause of poverty is the high cost of living which makes it difficult for people to access basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. In countries where there are high levels of poverty, women and children suffer the most.