What are 3 poorest countries in the world? What causes poverty? What happens with the help for them?

🇸🇴 Somalia

One of the poorest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita is Somalia. GDP per capita in Somalia is only $127.1 In 2020 the unemployment rate in Somalia was about 13,1%2, and the inflation rate in 2022 was 6,84%3. Over 60% of the population in Somalia are illiterate.4 The most important sector of the economy there is agriculture. Agriculture with forestry sum up to over 60% of the GDP. The main cultivated plants are banana trees, sugar canes and cotton plants. Somalia has many natural resources including uranium, iron, manganese, tin, gold and silver ores, gypsum and crude oil. Despite natural resources, the country is in a food and humanitarian crisis. Somalia is considered a fallen state.5

▪ Causes of weak development and poverty:

☀ Climate change

Floods and droughts are a big problem for Somalia. Country isn’t prepared to deal with the destabilizing influence of double environmental crises. The region is drying up in general, but there are also extreme rainfalls. The only source of water in Somalia are two seasonal rivers. When it’s raining – people have water, when it’s not raining – people don’t have anything to drink. Huge and sudden rises in water levels are causing the damage to riverbanks, flooding of farmlands and houses, animal deaths, and forcing people to flee. The riverbanks flooded in 2019, but similar incidents happened in 2018 and 2015.6 Unusually heavy rainfalls created a good environment for desert locust population growth, which destroyed tens of thousands crops and pastures. Although in the 20th century there were multiple locust plagues in this region, the scale of the 2019-2020 outbreak was the biggest in 25 years.7 On the other hand, the drought is making the ongoing crisis worse. This could cause an increase in the number of people who require humanitarian aid by 30% in 2022, from 5,9 million to 7,7 million.8 Because of the poor sanitary conditions, cholera outbreaks are rather common, and now on the top of that, they have a pandemic of COVID-19.

⚔️ Political destabilization in the country

Chaos and wars. Even before domestic wars, Somalia under the rules of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was a poor country, entangled in wars with its neighbors, and in the 80s also a country in economic crisis, which, nationalized by the socialist government, companies couldn’t deal with. Lately there are clashes between presidents and prime minister’s forces and jihadists violence, who still organize attacks in country territory. Government power is often represented by small, armed gangs and tribal organizations. Parts of Somalia are almost inaccessible because they are being controlled by the Al-Shabaab organization, which terrorizes local population. The alphabet in Somalia was changed to Arabic. Unfortunately, most of the citizens still haven’t learned it and are using drawings to communicate. War going on for almost 30 years created a whole generation of illiterate people, because normal education was impossible during the war.9

🤑 Corruption

According to Corruption Perceptions Index 2021, Somalia is one of the most corrupted countries in the world. It’s ranked the 178th place in the world with a score of 13 points out of the 100.10 Corruption and terrorism in Somalia are so high, that even the Somalian government accepts public arms and ammunition dealing.

🏴‍☠️ High seas piracy and transport seizing

Food is the most valued commodity. Food donated by humanitarian organizations is traded on the black market and doesn’t reach the people in need. Some of the trade vessels are abducted by pirates and released for the ransom.11

🛢️ Problems with exploitation of deposits

Lack of funds, roads (which are being destroyed during fighting), water and internal conflicts make exploitation of deposits almost impossible. Additionally, administrative anarchy causes that large part of production and extraction is robbed and sold on the black market.12

🇧🇮 Burundi

Burundi is a country without access to the sea, poor in resources and has a weak manufacturing sector. Its economy is based mainly on agriculture with the use of traditional methods (using hoes, sickles and rakes). Agriculture is a livelihood for about 93% of the population.13 The main crops are coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes and bananas. GDP per capita in Burundi is $260.14 The inflation rate in January 2022 was 12,3%15 and the unemployment rate in 2020 – 0.8%.16 Because of the poverty, many young people have no access to education. Only 37% of boys, and 29% of girls go to school.

▪ Causes of weak development and poverty:

👨🏿 Political-ethnic conflicts

Every crisis in Burundi was based on power struggles. The domestic war which took place between 1993 and 2005 has weakened the country significantly. The country is tormented by repeating ethnic conflicts, that breakout throughout the country between Hutu and Tutsi and lead to genocide. Poverty is mainly a consequence of these wars. The political scene is still divided.17 Inadequate financial and economic management by the government causes most citizens to live in poverty.

⚖️ Legal problems

There is inconsistency between declarations and real actions. Constitutional separation of powers is in place, but without the rule of law (violence towards opposition and people who oppose the government). There is no effective mechanism to protect the victims of the political violence and no instruments to discourage the use of political violence.18

🔪 Criminality

There is violence due to ethnic differences, illegal arrests and forced re-locations, hate incitement toward various groups of Burundi society, and rapes. For a long time rapists weren’t punished for their crimes.19

☀ Climate change

Climate change contributes to the transmission of diseases such as cholera and malaria. Soil erosion is causing people to re-locate, because they’re unable to grow their own food.20

🇲🇼 Malawi

Malawi is a country in east Africa. It has no sea access. The GDP per capita in Malawi is $411.21 The inflation rate in January 2022 was 12,1% and the unemployment rate in 2020 was about 6%.22 The agricultural sector make up 30% of the GDP and 80% of exports incomes. Efficiency of the tobacco sector is crucial for short term growth, because tobacco makes up 50% of exports.23 Literacy levels in the population over 15 years of age is about 82%. In Malawi there is a large number of people infected with HIV/AIDS virus (over 14% of the population). Life expectancy is only 44 years.24

▪ Causes of weak development and poverty:

📊 Macroeconomic instability

The country’s economic performance is weak because of macroeconomic instability, poor infrastructure, corruption, high population growth with poor medical care and education, which hinder work efficiency. The economy is mostly agricultural, with up to 80% of population living in rural areas.

🤑 Corruption

The biggest problem of Malawi is growing corruption of the officials. The officials not only misappropriate peoples’ money, they also ineptly manage it. This leads to the devastation of the economy.25

Have you ever been to “third world country”?

☀ Natural disasters

Malawi is located in a seismically active region and is haunted by the earthquakes. Malawi economy is based on agriculture, which is strongly dependent on climate stability. Up to the 1990s regular rainfalls guaranteed “natural irrigation”, and allowed for relative prosperity of the people. Also, because of the droughts that persisted for a few years, Malawi experienced the biggest energy crisis in years. Power outages lasted several dozen hours, and all of that because of the dependence on hydro power. Water levels went down because of the droughts and people were cut off from their energy source.26

▪ Summary

We discussed that the economies of Somalia, Burundi and Malawi are based on agriculture, which is dependent on climate stability. Interchangeable occurrence of droughts and floods leads to crop failures in these regions. Moreover, political destabilization, inept financial management by the governments and ethnic conflicts further slow-down the development of the discussed countries.

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▪ Bibliography

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1J. Cipur, Afryka na zawsze dzika?, www.obserwatorfinansowy.pl access: 24.02.2022.

2www.statista.com access: 24.02.2022.

4https://borgenproject.org/ dostęp: 23.02.2022.

5A. Toś, Somalia: polityczne, społeczne i gospodarcze skutki upadku państwa, psz.pl access: 19.02.2022.

6www.gismeteo.pl access: 23.02.2022.

7Plaga szarańczy w Afryce. Część I – przyczyny, nauka.uj.edu.pl access: 23.02.2022.

8www.gismeteo.pl/ access: 23.02.2022.

9Somalia, www.unic.un.org.pl access: 21.02.2022.

10www.transparency.org access: 08.04.2022

11P. Banasiewicz, S. Gramala, Piractwo somalijskie, www.wojsko-polskie.pl access: 23.02.2022.

12Also watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4P7j0wr-90

13encyklopedia.pwn.pl access: 23.02.2022.

14Afryka na zawsze dzika…op.cit.

15tradingeconomics.com access: 22.02.2022.

17www.konflikty.pl access: 25.02.2022.

18eur-lex.europa.eu, access: 28.02.2022.

19eur-lex.europa.eu access: 28.02.2022.

20www.gov.pl, access: 22.02.2022.

21Afryka na zawsze dzika…op.cit.

22tradingeconomics.com, access: 25.02.2022.

23www.gov.pl, dostęp: 25.02.2022.



26www.santegidio.org access: 22.02.2022.