A Caring World





Developing Countries


The term developing country is used quite often, but what exactly is a developing country, and why do developing countries struggle to become developed? People define developing country differently, but the common thread has to do with poverty. The World Bank defines the term as a country "in which the majority lives on far less money-with far fewer basic public services-than the population in highly industrialized countries."

The World Bank also states that one or more factors may be present in developing countries: bad education systems, lack of clean water, fragile government that cannot be there to offer support to its people in times of need, and inadequate healthcare. Additionally, the agency states that "five million of the world's 6 billion people live in developing countries where incomes are usually under $2 per day and a significant portion of the population lives in extreme poverty (under $1.25 per day)."


Where are the developing countries?

Developing countries exist throughout the world: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The list of developing countries is massive.


Why can't these countries just get themselves together?

The answer to this is very complex and may differ among countries. Many developing countries are located in parts of the world where environmental problems can wreak havoc on populations. Droughts that last for many years and relentless insect problems have been huge challenges for many developing countries. When you have countries in which most of the jobs that exist are agricultural, a five year drought can be devastating. Most developing countries exist in tropical areas where insects that carry extremely dangerous diseases thrive. Illnesses include malaria, Chagas disease, onchocerciasis, leishmaniasis, dengue hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, African sleeping sickness, and schistosomiasis.

Many developing countries are relatively young- either they were formed from a larger country that collapsed, or the country was freed from colonial rule. It takes a great many years for new countries to get on their feet. Many African countries only gained their freedom in the 1960s, some even in the 1970s, and so they are very new. Countries that formed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union are particularly young.


Many developing countries are simply violent. Why should we help people who are violent?

It is important not to judge an entire country on the actions of one or more groups, or it leaders. Remember, you have tons of men, women, and children who are simply just trying to live their lives. The United States has been in conflict after conflict, but the amount of people who fight are tiny in comparison to the amount of people living in this country.

It is also important to acknowledge that when it comes to new countries, it is natural that certain people "try to flex their muscles." This is unfortunate. And when that happens, "everyone in the country pays for it." According to Infinite Family, when countries are new, they typically endure a lot of violent conflicts, and that this can even be seen in the United States during its first hundred years in existence. Indeed, the first hundred years after the United States became free from British rule were very violent: the Indian Wars that went on for many years, the Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and more. Even today, the United States continues to participate in war or "war- like events."


Why can't people in developing countries get treatment for their illnesses?

Some medications simply are not available in some developing countries. When they are, many do not have the money to be treated. Some do not have access to a medical facility to get treatment. In very rural areas, it can take several days to get to a hospital or a clinic by walking. It is even worse when you have to carry a sick person to the facility. Some simply do not reach the hospital or clinic in time.

Also, historically, pharmaceutical companies tended to focus their efforts on people in developed countries. They wanted to focus on making medications for people who had money to buy them so that their efforts would be rewarded with money. Things seem to be changing. However, a country's lack of money may still present roadblocks.

Also, when governments are poor and fragile, it is hard to create government programs that will provide healthcare and financial help to its citizens.


What can we do to help people living in these countries? I do not want to spend any money.

A huge, huge challenge of developing countries is coping with disease. Assisting people in staying healthy is a major way to help. Another way to assist people living in these countries is to help children get educated. In many countries, education is not free. In some countries where education is free, children still cannot go to school because a uniform is required and their parent simply cannot afford to pay for it. Many developing countries have been ruined by war and becoming stable is a never ending battle. While donating to agencies and organizations trying to help developing countries is great way to help, there are other things you can do:

. Raise awareness about an issue by creating a website or blog.

. Do a presentation at a church, a library, or a school and raise awareness. Contact agencies connected with the issues and ask them about using their materials for the presentation.

. Create a fundraising site for an agency or organization. There are many opportunities out there. Currently, you can raise funds for U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help the children affected by the war in Syria.

. Visit the website of agencies or organizations that are trying to help people living in developing countries. While some of them just offer donating as a way of helping, there are plenty of agencies and organizations that provide other opportunities to help. Even if they don't, you can contact them and ask if they have materials you can use to raise awareness for the same cause they are trying to support. When you visit theses websites, look for links titled "Get Involved," "How You Can Help," "Take Action," "Action," "What You Can Do," "Volunteer," or similar things. If the website is not from a local place, you can email the agency or organization and ask them if there is a project you can do from home to help them in their efforts. Tell them your ideas, as well

Here are some agencies/organizations that are helping:

Illness

Malaria No More

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Medecins Sans Frontieres - Doctors Without Borders


Illness and Political Conflict

The Carter Center
The name, "Carter" refers to Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States.


Medical and Dental Programs for Children

Hearts Across Romania


Education, Nutrition, and Clothing for Children

Hearts in Unity


Education (for children in general); Caring for Orphans

Empowering Lives


Education

Bosnia Initiatives for Local Development


Disasters, Education, Nutrition, and More

Catholics Confront Global Poverty

UNICEF


Disasters and Human Rights

OxFam International


Human Rights

Amnesty International
This organization helps people in both developing and developed countries

Disclaimer
Sources:
. The Independence Hall Association.
U.S. History: Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium. When Does the Revolution End?

http://www.ushistory.org/us/13.asp

. International Association of Women Police. IAWP Developing Country Listing for Reduced Membership Fees.
http://www.iawp.org/joiniawp/countrylist.htm

. U.S. State Department of the History. Milestones: 1801-1829. Barbary Wars, 1801-1805 and 1815-1816
https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/barbary-wars

. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Yellow Fever. http://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/
- Schistosomiasis. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/schistosomiasis/

- The Burden of Onchocerciasis (River Blindness). http://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/ntd/diseases/oncho_burden.html
- American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease). http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/
- Leishmaniasis. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/leishmaniasis/
. The World Bank. About Development. FAQS.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTSITETOOLS/0,,contentMDK:20147486~menuPK:344190~pagePK:98400~piPK:98424~theSitePK:95474,00.html

. The World Bank. Europe and Central Asia (developing only).
http://data.worldbank.org/region/ECA

. WashingtonsBlog. World News Daily Information Clearing House. America Has Been At War 93% of the Time - 222 Out of 239 Years - Since 1776.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41086.htm

History.com. Mexican-American War.
http://www.history.com/topics/mexican-american-war

. World Atlas
-Africa: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/af.htm
-North America: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/na.htm
-Australia/Oceania: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/na.htm
-South America: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/sa.htm
-Asia: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/as.htm

Forbes. (2013, December 5). Does Pharma Only Develop Drugs For Those Who Can Pay?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2013/12/05/does-pharma-only-develop-drugs-for-those-who-can-pay/

Pipes, R.E. Encyclopaedia Britannia. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Historical state, Eurasia.
http://www.britannica.com/place/Soviet-Union
Table of Choices
Graphic:
Peace and Nutrition by Sharon Lee Hudson

A Caring World: (c) Sharon Lee Hudson