Nature and Causes of poverty

Armed conflict, bad Governance and poor infrastructure cause povertyUNHCR, 2011

Political Causes

The number of people living as refugees from war or persecution exceeded 50 million in 2013, for the first time since World War Two, according to the UN. The overall figure of 51.2 million in 2013 is six million higher than the year before. Conflicts in Syria, central Africa and South Sudan fuelled the sharp increase.

Social Causes

Somalia is only now experiencing normal government since the country collapsed into civil war in 1991. It is one of the poorest places in the world.

The rebel group Al-Shabaab controls the south of the country. Food agencies have been unable to work there since early 2010 and the UN has been prevented from reaching the very hungry, especially children. This has contributed to the current crisis.

Kenya is perceived to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 154th out of 178 in Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perception Index.

For example, companies shifting perishable goods risk losing the lot if they refuse to pay bribes. The Kenyan government has said it could be losing nearly one-third of the national budget to corruption.

Economic Causes

Poor infrastructure makes everything in many African countries slower, less reliable and more expensive than it needs to be.

Ethiopia does not just need better rural roads, it needs entire new logistics networks linking airports, railways and warehouses as well as new electricity grids to power them. Its cities also lack proper water supplies and sanitation.

Both the developed and developing countries have to be better in managing large capital aid projects. There has been too much corruption and favouritism in awarding contracts, and a lack of infrastructure maintenance has been created.