Last updated: 4 november, 2009 - 11:10 GMT

Poverty and Development

A Dollar a Day

The sillouette of a boy against a sunset, Nicaragua

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What keeps a billion people trapped in the most persistent poverty? Mike Wooldridge travels to Nicaragua, Namibia and Nepal where the poor describe a daily struggle that has been worsened by the global economic crisis.


Justa's life has been blighted by domestic violence and sexual abuse. Now destitute, she and her grandaughter are dependent on the meagre remittances her daughter can send from abroad.

Thirty years after the Sandinista revolution, the promise of a better life for women like Justa remains unfulfilled, and Nicaragua is now the second poorest country in Latin America.

There is some hope for the future though. Justa now no longer sees her former abusive partner and she says she is happier. Her grandaughter, too, is using education as an escape from poverty.

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  • Justa survives on meagre remittences

  • Everyone in Otjivero is given a grant of US$10 a month

  • Severe drought has led to acute food shortages

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