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A Comparison of the Poverty That Exists in Canada and Zambia

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WD2 Portfolio Jimmy Gough Centre:56360 A comparison of the poverty that exists in Canada and Zambia Canada is a rich industrialised country, usually ranked well within the top 10 countries in the HDI (Human Development Index) yet, like all countries, poverty is still a problem that faces a substantial number of Canadians. A survey in 2005 estimates that 10.8% of the population live below the LICO (Low Income Cut-Off) which is currently set at $20,000. Zambia, on the other hand, is a poor, third world country where disease, poverty and illiteracy are prevalent. Once rich and prosperous, and seen as the economic hope of Sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia's economy fell to pieces because of the oil crisis in the 1970s which consequently led to a dramatic fall in copper prices: Zambia's primary export. Loans pushed by America were taken out by an incompetent government, thus leaving Zambia in a debt crisis where their repayments were higher than their total exports. ...read more.


Child poverty is possibly the most serious social problem facing both Zambia and Canada. However, the relative degree and urgency of the problem is very different. In Zambia, children have been badly affected by the AIDS epidemic; in 2007 it was estimated that there were 600,000 AIDS orphans, many of these are then abandoned due to stigma or the lack of resources to support them. In Zambia, AIDS does not only affect the poor, deprived communities but it also affects the wealthier and more educated parts of society. The difference is that they have the money to pay for health care to help prolong life, whereas the poor communities do not. The Zambian president, Mwanawasa, has recognised this and has promised to provide free treatment to 100,000 people by the end of the year. The disparity in wealth for children is a serious problem in Canada. Statistics show that those children who come from low-income families, compared to those in middle income families, are 1.7 times more likely to have serious health problems. ...read more.


Relative poverty in Canada is to be expected as there is, and always will be, disparities in wealth but I feel that absolute poverty in today's world is inexcusable. The facts speak for themselves. Canada has a GDP per capita of $39, 300, 6.8% of this is spent on healthcare and 5.2% is spent on education. Zambia has a GDP of $1500 per capita, 3% of this is spent on healthcare and 1.9% is spent on education. The amount percentage of HIV sufferers in Canada is less than 0.3%; in Zambia it's 16.5%. Finally, if you live in Canada you are expected to live to 79; in Zambia just 49. I have attempted to compare the two countries' poverty but, in truth, it is similar to comparing different worlds. Canada is a country in which, by Zambia's standards, nobody would be considered to be in poverty; Zambia is a country where, by Canada's standards, 98% of the country would be living in poverty. ...read more.

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