Poverty In Belize
Poverty alleviation is not entirely held too high in regards. Therefore poverty is present in every country and in any economy. Thus, as in any economy many activist claim that the latest census indicates that Belizean were poorer in 2002 that it was in 1995. Thou it is true that the latest census does indicate that Belizean were indeed poorer in 2002; they allege that it was caused by the disproportionate distribution of wealth and resources with the economy. As a result, the records prove that “44% to 24%” poverty
is present in rural and urban areas
respectively. “The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich" (Pope J. Paul II
, 1984). Because of its obvious inhumane effects, “a globalized and sustained war on poverty has been waged”. Significant resources nationally and internationally have been mobilized and earmarked for the elimination of poverty. Most international funding agencies have this as a high priority activity. It is noted that any real development cannot successfully proceed if poverty is not eradicated or as a minimum, alleviated.
So what when wrong in 2002 was that the “world’s definition of poverty was changed and it became so difficult to measurement and it even became more elusive” (C. Blake, 2000). Indeed, it can be argued that if a phenomenon like poverty cannot be defined, then it cannot be adequately measured. However, the political will need to be there order to effectively alleviate poverty. As show in the census report.
It shows that 33.5% of the population were below the poverty line and 10.8% were below the indigent line. This mean that one in every three person was poor … not able to meet basic food and non-food cost, while one in every nine persons was very poor not able to meet basic food cost.
Government commitment is the only way forward as unpalatable as it may be; it is succinct that homelessness, hunger, lack of work, and illiteracy are direct effects of destitute among people today. As a result, this causes people to struggle throughout their lives. Poverty, a ubiquitous problem in the streets of Belize, is a murky road to ultimate despair. There are many different reasons for poverty, but there are a few well-traveled paths to destitution; mental illness, lack of affordable housing, family breakdown, and alcoholism are all factors of poverty. A chilling fact, from any point of view, is that our small children have become greatly affected by poverty.
As within the Caribbean it is generally accepted that the more money spent on education help to alleviate poverty. Education has alleviated the standard of living for many individual especially those from the rural areas where poverty is 44%. The reason for investing in education is because it has solved many of our social problems such as the literacy rate among children. We believe that Belize is not on the footing stone to poverty because there is no political will but on the contrary. It may be true the poverty rate is too high for the country and efforts should be more concentrated on the alleviation of poverty within our society. Although many critics believe that government should spend less on education and capital projects. However, the best project to invest in is on the education of our younger children.
On the other hand, we do seem to breathe more poverty, ignorance, and corruption as in the midst of all the poverty there is in our society. In addition there has always been soon conspicuous wealth and exploitations of key resources. Resources, such as land for the cultivation of crops and subsistence for farmers and workers to make their livelihood. “The rich gets richer and the poor get poorer.” As this saying refers to the social injustices that have crippled the county’s economy. The mismanagement of financial asset that did not materialize and millions of dollars that have been wasted has caused corruption to become too high in our country. Belizean now have learnt that they need to speak out for what they believe in and the collective bargaining needs to be stronger among groups that speaks out against the social injustices. It’s because of these social injustices that poverty has become too high. The corruption caused by the present administration [PUP] benefit only a few people and business and not the people of the county. It is because of corruption poverty could not be properly addressed.
So when one thinks of poverty the mental picture that comes to mind is of a single parent dependent, women and unemployed. The children are often too forgotten. The impact of poverty, the destruction of crime and stigmatization of the violence on the children is more devastating and irreversible than the miseducation and illiteracy that most often companies poverty. The implication is not that poverty cannot be overcome but that the cycles of dependency, and dropping out of high school continues and are hard to break. The badges of poverty are just as addictive and capitiving as any disease such as alcohol or drugs. And while the fight to alleviate poverty may continue so should the political will of any government in any country and economy.
C. Blake. “The dynamics for poverty assessment. Jamaica, West Indies. Online www. Povetydefinintion.com . (2002)
Government of Belize. 2002 Poverty Assessment Report. Belize. National Human Development Advisory Committee. (June 2004)