The World Bank

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・English ・APA ・2 Sources

Poverty, according to the World Bank, is described primarily in developed countries as a lack of sufficient income to meet basic human needs such as food, housing, water, health care, and education. Individuals living on $1.25 a day are considered poor today. In contrast to almost two billion people thirty-six years ago, the cumulative number of these people is now 1.4 billion (Singer, 2009). This statistic has declined substantially as a result of economic growth in some developed countries and improved public-health efforts against diseases such as malaria, which impacts infant mortality rates. This is despite the fact that developed countries' populations have grown at an alarming rate in recent years. The United States is perceived to be a huge contributor, in the form of financial aid to developing countries. This is not the case as the U.S is close to the bottom in relation to the proportion of national income given out as foreign aid by developed nations. It is quite shocking to compare what U.S. citizens perceive that their country gives in relation to what they actually contribute to developing nations. 42% of the people believe that the United States provides up to four times of what they do give as foreign aid to developing nations. This shows how people are totally ignorant of the actual situation of what their country contributes (Singer, 2009).

Only less than one percent of the people in that survey gave the correct figure of what the country contributes. It is quite shocking that people even believe that the United States gives too much than they actually should be giving as foreign aid. On the other end, some people believe that America contributes significantly when taking into account the amount given through private aid. However, even taking this into account, America still trails behind countries like Ireland and Canada in the private aid given in proportion to total national income.

We should realize that the value of life does not decrease in value once we cross our American borders. The U.S. Government should aim at increasing the financial aid given to developing nations. As much as it perceived that they do not have an obligation to aid such people, they should remember the contributions they have made to pollute the environment; whose effects are felt by people in developing countries. Most of the time people within the developed nations are the ones who contribute the most to polluting environment. At the same time, they deny that global warming exists while they themselves have preventive measures for the same. On the other hand, people in developing nations do not have enough financial power to be able to fight back against some of the causes of pollution in their countries. As mentioned above, some of the finances that they are to receive, as aid, are consumed by corrupt leaders who do not care much about this (Singer, 2009). This is why some countries like Zimbabwe in Africa have had one president for thirty years without significant development (Nsehe, 2012).

The value of a human life as mentioned above should not be evaluated based on where a person resides. The surveys conducted as evidenced by the article show that people have no idea of what their government actually contributes as foreign aid. The United States is perceived to contribute significantly to alienating the poverty line as they have been known to aid in devastating disasters including Hurricane Katrina. However, the contributions they made to the tsunami that hit South East Asia was significantly less than the one made for Hurricane Katrina. Comparing the two disasters, the South-East Asia tsunami killed close to 250,000 people and rendered scores of people homeless while Hurricane Katrina claimed 1,600 lives (Singer, 2009).

Most of the aid given by the United States is usually channeled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Egypt and Colombia. Iraq and Afghanistan constitute a huge proportion of the same to continue in the fight against terror (Singer, 2009). The only nation here which would actually qualify as a poor country would be Sudan. This shows that the American Government does not prioritize its foreign aid based on the poor countries that need their help the most.


We have a significant role to play in attempting to get rid of the misconception that the United States is a huge contributor. This can primarily be rectified by focusing on including this issue in all studies made by university students. The issue should not only be left to specialized courses on global development while the rest are exposed to indulgences which are emphasized to be a very important thing in their lives. Students need to understand what these figures mean and in this way, they will get to know the manner in which they can contribute to alienate the poverty line.

On the other hand, adults should be encouraged to contribute to organizations that strive to aid to improve health care and life in developing countries. This can be done through contributing a percentage of one’s total income since we end up using our income on luxuries that we actually do not need. We essentially do not need to make basic necessities like water to be luxurious items, that is, by buying expensive bottled water while such finances can aid developing nations (Singer, 2009).


Nsehe, M. (2012). The Five Worst Leaders in Africa. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from

Singer, P. (2009). America's Shame. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from

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