Poverty poses a problem to rich countries too [Archives:2006/996/Opinion]

November 6 2006

Mohammed Al-Ariqi
It is good the issue of poverty and the poor is one the major issues the United Nations addresses. The subject has become deep inside literatures of the international organization and many conferences and summits are allocated for it, the most prominent of which is held early this century.

With the Millennium Challenge Account the countries participated in the summit have pledged to achieve its goals including the improvement of the situations of the poor in all aspects.””) the rich countries and donor organizations promised to assist poor countries to help them overcome the difficulties and crises impeding the achievement of those objectives.

It is true governments, organizations, groups and individuals are responsible for tackling their issues by themselves and with their own efforts and capabilities, but that does not relieve the international community from contributing to eliminate poverty.

The consequences and danger of poverty are possible to attack in many areas in the world by many ways that can easily monitor now through multi aspects. Such aspects for instance are witnessed with the increasing migration of people from poor countries to rich countries. This matter has become a source of anxiety, annoyance and fear from flooding their cities with those migrants. Those countries are presently afraid the migrants could affect their social fabric and their security and economic situations. Values of social coexistence to welcome other races and religions have disappeared in those countries. They replaced them by putting restraints and barriers to prevent entry of migrants. Many countries have taken new strong and strict measures – even against those already residing or naturalized in their country.

The desire for migration by the youth of some poor countries has become a tragedy because they face great difficulties living in their own countries, especially difficulty getting job opportunities. Getting to new countries can involve many kinds of danger and risk of life – sometimes drowning in the sea or through being shot by border guards. They can end up as victims of gangsters who rob them of all what they have saved for the realization of the dream of migration. Thus they return to their homelands in a poorer and more tragic condition that before.

The essential point justifying the demand from rich countries to offer help and assistance to the poor countries to surmount their difficult situations proceeds from moral, political and economic criteria. For a long time rich countries have dealt with poor countries on the grounds of unilateral interest. The poor countries became mines for withdrawing their natural wealth in return for the cheapest prices and as markets for exporting to them products of the rich country's factories. The rich countries have not stopped instigating rebellions, wars and conflicts which the poor countries have been witnessing and those events have put those poor countries away from devoting their efforts to construction and development. The rich countries are still responsible for what they have done, directly or indirectly, in impoverishing some societies because they behave in a hypocritical way and do not care about the humanitarian situation, as a result of their double standard. For instance how can the Palestinian society eliminate poverty while it is under the Israeli occupation and the worst and ugliest ways of suppression and terror and blockade are practiced against them, as well as the means of impoverishing practiced by Israel? There is no serious step to end this tragic situation in Palestine. They could have solved the issue in hours if they had the credibility and moral values.

Out of these scenes, the solution of the problem of poverty and improving the situation of the poor has become associated with and dependent on the political, economic and education performance by the developing peoples and the societies by themselves. They can wring out their rights, impose their demands and prove their existence in the international arena so advancement and renaissance will not remain monopolized by the rich countries.

Mohammed Al-Ariqi is a Yemeni journalist and writer.

Source: al-Thawra Newspaper