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What are the Social, Economic and Environmental reasons why the

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What are the Social, Economic and Environmental reasons why the Dominican Republic is underdeveloped? The Dominican Republic has a population of 8 million (1998 figures) and occupies half of an island in the Caribbean called Hispaniola. The other half of this island belongs to another country called Haiti. Looking at the standards of the world's least developed countries we can see that the Dominican Republic is not doing too badly. Compared to the economically developed world it can only be described as poor. There are three main reasons why this country is underdeveloped. These are because social, economic and environmental factors are affecting the country's development. I will now attempt to explain these factors. Social reasons can stop a country such as the Dominican Republic from developing in many different ways. One of these is the low literacy rates. Many children have never been into a primary school in their lives. This lack of education reduces the chances of employment, increasing development and escaping poverty altogether. In the past religion has discouraged the education of women and girls. ...read more.


Shortages of skilled workers in the Dominican Republic mean that overseas workers get the better paid jobs as they are more skilled. Many experts agree that these Trans National Companies are holding back development. As well as this a huge debt caused by the borrowing of money from economically developed countries has meant development cannot continue or even begin. This is due to the interest rates put on the loans being too high for the Dominican Republic to pay back. Due to this an ever increasing debt has been formed. All money that could have been used to pay for schools, education and housing is used to pay off loans instead. The country also has difficulty in trade. It exports mainly primary goods and imports manufactured goods. The problem is that the exported goods do not keep up with prices of imported goods creating money problems. Finding markets for these products is also difficult as trade blocs such as the EU restrict the influx of foreign goods using tariffs and quotas so that their industries are protected from rivalry. ...read more.


The benefits from the tourism have been few and it has just widened the gap in living standards between the rich and the poor. Agribusiness (high-tech farming based on chemical fertilisers and pesticides) was also introduced to recoup money lost in the sugar industry. Many peasant farmers have lost their land to this and have been forced to work for the huge agribusiness enterprises. The resulting intensive farming of cattle and rice has polluted rivers and soils. Contaminated drinking water has damaged people's health and agro-chemicals have made much farmland useless and infertile. Deforestation has also led to soil erosion and has interrupted the water cycle. This has changed local climates and made important water sources dry up. Shortages of fuel wood are also a problem due to deforestation meaning people must search further and for longer for their only source of fuel. I can conclude that there are many factors which are preventing the Dominican Republic from developing. They are: * Education * Population growth * Shortages in capital * Profits leaking overseas * Loan debt * Trade barriers * Skills shortages * Misuse of natural resources * Tourism All of these are preventing the country from developing properly and is why the Dominican Republic is underdeveloped. ...read more.

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