Poverty as a Threat To Democracy, Human Rights, And Climate Change
In the contemporary world, the poverty levels have increased more than ever before, thus posing a threat to the health of individuals and the environment. 3 billion people in the world, which means nearly half of the world`s population, live for less than two dollars a day, while more than 1.3 million individuals live in less than 1.25 dollars a day (Commission for Social Development, 2012). The threats of poverty are hidden, and in most cases, they are under-estimated by the governments and other non-governmental organizations. According to UNICEF, approximately 1 billion children in the world live in poverty, with 22,000 dying due to inadequate standard of living. It can be justly stated that the suffering and indignity of individuals living in abstract poverty is a humanitarian tragedy. In most cases, poverty is the root of numerous challenges that humans, animals, and the environment are facing in the modern world. Poverty poses a distinct and severe threat to climate change resilience, food security, democracy, insecurity, and human rights, hindering a country from addressing most of the global challenges.
Link between Poverty and Democracy
Poverty poses a major threat to democracy in a myriad of ways. According to Esther Chilenje, the first Deputy Speaker of Parliament in Malawi, when most individuals are poor, they tend to be incapacitated (Skoufias, 2012). More specifically, Mrs. Chilenje highlighted that poor individuals can rarely pursue or fulfill their ambitions, which means that they are always disadvantaged compared to those who have financial muscles. Therefore, when the local or national government allocates opportunities to the poor, they cannot manage to reach them since they have no financial means, leaving their opportunities to the rich few in the society. In the long last, the numbers of poor continue to grow each day, while the rich continue to get wealthier, which is against the notions of a democratic society (Berg-Schlosser & Kersting, 2003). Apparently, such tendency violates the principles of democracy, which advocates for equal allocation of resources to all without favor or discrimination. In addition to that, it should be mentioned that the situation becomes worse when the politicians start taking advantage of the poor instead of fighting for their plights, thus failing to give them any opportunities or resources to pursue their ambitions, instead allocating them among the rich.
In addition, poverty contributes to the propagation of discrimination. It a common situation when some health facilities, schools, churches, and estates are meant for the poor, while others are set aside for the rich. In addition, in a democratic nation, all individuals are equally subject to