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Poverty in Maps
The Relationship to Hunger
LL Hammon
The map shows civil wars in the period after the cold war and levels of Gross National
Products (GDP) for 1995. Blue circles and squares represent internal and
internationalized armed conflicts respectively. Considered to be an indicator on poverty,
GDP figures are classified into three classes symbolized with a “the darker the more
poor” metaphor.
As the map shows, there is a close relation between poverty and internal
conflict. Poverty is recognized as one of the strongest conflict generating
factors, but there are disagreements on how we should interpret this
relation. Some regard civil wars as a dramatic way of sharing: The poor
attempt to get their share which otherwise are consumed exclusively by
multinational companies and the country’s elite. However, rebellion
groups are seldom lead by the poorest. Collier & Hoeffler (2002) regard
rebellion as a way of conquering the state or as much territory as needed
in order for the leaders to reward those supporting the revolt. In a poor
country, labor is inexpensive and it may be difficult finding work being
better paid than rebellion participation. Corrupt governments also use the
public purse in order to advance their own interests. The country’s
resources finance both revolt and suppression while the majority of the
population remain poor. Also the country’s economy makes a difference
on how the operators act, but there are no grounds to claim that
economic difference in itself plays an important role regarding the
outbreak of civil wars (from Gleditsch, 2002).
GDP Source: Harvard economic data and CIA world factbook (2001).
Poverty - Children Under Age 18 - 2000
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
It is not just somewhere else!
Poverty in the United States.