Effects of poverty in developing countries

poverty stricken children

A society is likely to remain largely in subsistence production if most of its members are poverty-stricken as the poor can hardly afford capital for expansion in production. They thus resort to labour intensive production with the margin of productivity remaining low. This situation is worsened by the fact that subsistence production is not fully utilized as it is constrained by the poor processing and storage techniques, unfavourable weather condition as well as damages caused by pests and diseases. Even where some of the poor benefits from credit facilities, instead of using such loans to boost production, they are sometimes misallocated as a result of indebtedness, low educational attainment and low sales proceeds (CBN 1998, and Aku et al, 1997).

Some of the effects of poverty are evident in consumption, justice, health, and politics argued CBN (1998). In the areas of consumption, the poor obviously pay higher prices for the goods and services they consume. The poor are not denied justice but are easily arrested and often given stiffer penalties than the non-poor for same or similar offences. As regards health, the poor who have little or no access to qualitative health facilities also have less nourishing diets, more birth defects, accidents and disease infections than the non-poor. In politics, the poor are so unorganized that they can hardly influence any political decision or make any meaning impact in voting for a candidate of their choice into an elective office.

According to World Bank (2001), the poor are not only deprived but also seriously feel their lack of voice, power, and independence. In other words, they find themselves in a state of helplessness and powerlessness. One of the effects of poverty is that underage children are made to contribute to the family’s means of livelihood as they are pulled out of school to earn extra income particular during an economic crisis (World Bank, 2001). The implication is that such children either become drop-outs or perform poorly in their academic pursuits.

Another effect of poverty is malnutrition as the poor cannot obtain adequate calories needed to develop and maintain the body system. Malnutrition leads to stunted growth, poor malnourishment which if prolonged could lead to death. Also, since the poor are faced with poor housing, poor clothing, poor health and poor sanitary conditions, they are exposed to and are infected with diseases transmitted by other people and animals (Filipov n.d.; Aber, Benett, Conley and Li, 1997).

According to Kwanashie (1998), poverty limits the process of capital accumulation and the ability to cope with the technological process as it does not only reduce the number of potential investors but also undermines the zeal for investment.

Further Reading

An Appraisal of Poverty Reduction of the MDGs in Nigeria


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