IF a report published yesterday in an Indian daily is anything to go by, Nigeria is not on the list of the seven poorest countries in the world. Of the countries occupying the first seven positions on the extremely poor nations, six are African’s, with Afghanistan as the only country from Asia. The publication came on the heels of a weekend prediction by the World Bank that the number of people living in extreme poverty will fall below 10 per cent before the end of the year. According to the bank, about one billion people live in extreme poverty. In its latest report, the number of people who survive on Rs 125 a day will drop from 12.8 per cent to 9.6 per cent before the end of the year. According to the organisation, the world poverty is moving closer to the goal of ending poverty by 2030.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
With the lowest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita than any other country, Democratic Republic of Congo tops the list of poorest countries in the world. The civil war it went through has also made it the poorest. The nation also faces the problem of human rights.
Zimbabwe has a lower poverty rate and better social indicators than most African countries. Poverty is more common in rural areas (31 per cent) than in urban areas (10 per cent), and the majority of Zimbabwe’s poor population (88 per cent) live in rural areas.
Burundi has a history of violence and troubles. Conflict has contributed to widespread poverty. Burundi ranks in 167th place among 177 countries on the 2007 UN Human Development Index, and seven out of 10 Burundians live below the poverty line. Per capita Gross National Income (GNI) in 2007 was $100.
Liberia is still recovering from the effects of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003. The civil war has left the country in a fragile state. More than 80 per cent of Liberians were surviving on less than $1.25 per day. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) classifies Liberia as a low-income and food-deficit country.
Eritrea’s economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture, and 60 per cent of the population relies for food and income on agricultural activities. The youngest independent country has an annual per capita income of $150. In 2001, 53 per cent of the country’s households fell below the poverty line, and 44 per cent of children under the age of five were underweight.
With a surface area of about 1.3 million square kilometres, Niger is one of the world’s least developed nations. Its population is more than 16 million and is growing at an annual rate of 3.3 percent. Niger was ranked at the 186th position in the 2013 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Seventy-six per cent of its people survive on less than $2 a day.
Since the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan has been a centre of a series of conflicts that have continued for over 30 years. Forty-two percent of the country’s total population lives below the national poverty line. About 20 per cent of the people live just above that line and are highly vulnerable to the risk of falling into poverty.
Culled from The Nation