Fundamental Human Rights

The Right to a Sustainable Future [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

World Poverty: 1 in 7 Hungry

Posted by terres on December 11, 2008

15 percent of world population, more than 1 in 7 people, are malnourished!

This year 963 million people, about 40 million more than in 2007, have been pushed into hunger primarily due to higher food prices, according to preliminary estimates published by FAO. Even more people could fall deeper into the abyss of poverty and hunger, warns FAO.

If the FAO figures are not underestimated, as the Moderators believe they are, then 15 percent of world population, more than 1 in 7 people, are malnourished!

UN officials say hunger kills a child every 6 seconds.

Undernourishment by country (% of population undernourished)

Vulnerability to hunger is reflected in this map of the global state of undernourishment. Undernourished people are unable to obtain the food they need from production or imports, either because it is not available or because they cannot afford it.  Source: FAO 2000 . Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in higher food prices, Malnourished children, poverty, UN food program, world population | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Quotes of the week: Britain, Nigeria, Egypt

    Posted by terres on November 3, 2008

    Execution of Jean Charles de Menezes by British Secret Police

    “I would like to say that on whether I heard anything from police officers, I am very, very clear. I had absolutely no idea who they were and had they shouted I would have latched on to that … I felt they [UK’s Special Branch] were a bit out of control, that’s what it felt like.” Anna Dunwoodie, a commuter who witnessed how the British secret police executed Jean Charles de Menezes in London on 22 July 2005.

    Nigeria’s Share Fever

    “They were all talking money money money … It was the thought of losing the whole thing and owing all that money that made me get out” ~ A Nigerian investor, on how the stock market doubled in value in a matter of weeks, before it crashed in March 2008.

    Power and Poverty in Egypt

    “Go anywhere in Egypt and you’ll discover the kind of poverty that the majority are suffering. We have serious problems meeting even the basic needs for survival.” ~ Abdul Galil Mustafa, a member of Egypt’s Kefaya opposition party

    Posted in Gamal Mubarak, market crash, politics, poverty, Share Fever | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Image of the Day: Premature Relief

    Posted by terres on September 11, 2008

    Time to Abolish Thai Monarchy!

    Anti-government demonstrators celebrate a court ruling ordering Thailand’s Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to stand down, at the Government House in Bangkok September 9, 2008. Protesters occupying Thailand’s Government House to force the resignation of Samak vowed on Tuesday to continue their sit-in despite the court verdict against Samak.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif.

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    Posted in environment, human rights, politics, poverty, prostitution | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Time to Abolish the Monarchy in Swaziland

    Posted by terres on September 2, 2008

    Mswati III of Swaziland

    Mswati III (born on April 19, 1968) of Swaziland is the king of Swaziland, and head of the Swazi Royal Family. He succeeded his late father, Sobhuza II, in 1986.

    He is one of many sons of King Sobhuza II (he had 70 wives and at the time of his death left over 1000 grandchildren).

    • The king has 13 wives and 23 children.
    • In 2005 he purchased a $500,000 luxury car.
    • The King earns a high salary as Head of State, has investments within the country and elsewhere, owns an unspecified amount of shares in different companies within Swaziland.
    • The King has received large amounts of criticism for his mishandling of the HIV/AIDS crisis that has devastated much of Swaziland. In the year 2000, he announced in a parliamentary debate that all HIV+ people should be “sterilized and branded”.
    • In 2001, he tried to respond to the crisis by introducing a five year ban on sex in the country, to curb the tide of the growing pandemic.
    • The king himself did not respect the ban; he took several new wives over the following five year period.
    • The ban amounted in an increase in prostitution, decline in marriage, and an increase in abortions and infanticide.
    • At a time when more than one third of the country was HIV+ and more than one third of the population was at risk of starvation, King Mswati attempted to use $45 million of the government’s money to buy a private jet. The amount was equivalent to the amount the government spent on health care for the whole country in a two-year period.
    • There have also been accusations that the King holds his future brides against their will, and they have no real say in whether or not they will marry King Mswati.
    • For a number of years now the international media and community have labeled the King of Swaziland an “absolute monarch”, and tended to regard him as a dictator.
    • In January 2006, Mswati’s elder brother, Prince Mbuyisa Dlamini, was sent to jail for the rape of his nine-year-old niece, his sister’s grandchild.


    Rural Poverty Portal reported: Swaziland is ranked as a lower middle-income country. Yet income distribution within the country is extremely unequal. The wealthiest 10 per cent of the population account for nearly half of total total consumption and there is an ever-widening gap between urban and rural development. There are clear signs that poverty and unemployment are on the rise. About 84 per cent of the country’s poor people live in rural areas, where per capita income is about four times lower than in urban areas, and food consumption is two times lower. A large proportion of rural households practice subsistence agriculture. About 66 per cent of the population is unable to meet basic food needs, while 43 per cent live in chronic poverty. When drought hit Swaziland in 2004 and 2005 more than one quarter of the country’s population required emergency food aid. In 2007 Swaziland experienced one of its worst droughts which led to major food insecurity.

    • Population: 1.14 million
    • GNI per capita (US$), 2003: $1,350 [IFAD]
    • Population living below the national poverty line (%), 1995: 40  [World Bank]
    • Swaziland has one of the world’s highest Gini Coefficients with the top 10% of the population controlling about 50% of wealth, while the bottom 40% of the population controls less than 14% of the wealth. [UNDP]
    • Poor economic growth, a rapidly expanding population and an increasingly uneven distribution of resources are factors that contribute to the growing number of Swaziland’s rural poor people. Other factors aggravating poverty are the rise in unemployment, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the fact that large parts of the country are vulnerable to drought and climate change. Environmental fragility is beginning to affect food security. Overgrazing has caused soil depletion, while drought and periodic floods have become persistent problems.
    • Swaziland is experiencing a major increase in child-headed households as a result of HIV/AIDS pandemic. [Source]

    Bare-breasted virgins compete for Swaziland king

    King Mswati III (front) arrives at Ludzidzini, the royal palace in Swaziland, during the annual Reed Dance. The Reed Dance allows Mswati to choose a wife, if he wishes. Mswati currently has 13 wives. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SWAZILAND). Image may be subject to copyright.
    LUDZIDZINI ROYAL VILLAGE, Swaziland (Reuters) – September 2, 2008

    Tens of thousands of bare-breasted virgins competed for Swaziland King Mswati III’s eye on Monday in a traditional Reed Dance.

    Walking through the dense crowds in a leopard skin loin cloth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch was expected to choose his 14th wife.

    Critics say Mswati, who has courted controversy for his lavish lifestyle while two thirds of his subjects live in poverty, sets a bad example by encouraging polygamy and teenage sex in a country where about 40 percent of adults live with HIV.

    Some of the women did not seem to mind, hoping to escape from the southern African nation’s hardships for the easy life.

    “I came here to dance. I wish the king would have chosen me because it’s nice at the king’s place. The wives live a nice life,” said Tenene Dlamini, 16, in a traditional brown skirt.

    “Everything is done for them. They don’t work. They earn.”

    The Reed Dance has been a big date on the Swaziland cultural calendar since Mswati began the ceremony in 1999.

    But he may not be as relaxed this year among the throngs of young half-naked women.

    Political groups seeking democratic reforms have become more active in a country where the opposition has been effectively banned since 1973 by royal decree.

    They are critical of plans to hold next weekend’s celebrations of the king’s 40th birthday in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Swaziland’s independence from Britain.

    Still, some of Swaziland’s women came to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to show their admiration for the monarch.

    “I respect the king and I respect my culture,” said Nontobeko Sdidlamini, 16, carrying a shield made of animal skin and wearing an orange bracelet which read “Sex Can Wait”.

    Some said they would not want to be part of a polygamous arrangement with the king and were taking part in the ceremony to prove their virginity. Others fear they lost out.

    “My sister is the king’s tenth wife. I don’t think he can choose me because he has already chosen my sister,” said Zandisile Ntentesa, a 21-year-old prison employee.

    The king, flanked by bodyguards with pistols and sticks, may face pressure from emboldened critics. But he can take comfort from the wealth which wins him tributes and songs at the reed ceremony.

    Last month, Forbes magazine listed him as the 15th-richest monarch in the world. He was the only African on the list.

    During the reed festivities, one of the king’s wives drove up in a fancy BMW . Policemen told people to look the other way. (Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Giles Elgood). Copyright author or respective news agency.

    Posted in dictatorship, environment, human rights, politics, poverty | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    World Bank: Poverty ‘more widespread’

    Posted by terres on August 29, 2008

    Main Entry:

    What We Always Believed, World Bank Finally Confirms

    Posted in environment, human rights, politics, pollution, poverty | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Buffet the Poor

    Posted by feww on May 25, 2008

    Warren Buffet: World’s biggest moneybag [AND CO2 producer]

    The United States is in a recession, one that will be longer and deeper than most people expect, said Warren Buffet, the world’s biggest moneybag.

    “[T]he people are already feeling the effects,” said Buffet. “It will be deeper and last longer than many think.”

    The world’s moneybags have only one goal in mind: To make more money than everyone else, despite the environmental and social consequences. “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies,” Buffet said.

    Warren Buffet listens to a question during a news conference in Madrid May 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrea Comas. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF fair Use Notice!

    Invariably, they blame someone else for the ills they create. Buffet, as usual, blamed the derivatives market.

    “It’s not right that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being eliminated, that entire industrial sectors in the real economy are being wiped out by financial bets even though the sectors are actually in good health.”

    Buffet bemoans the “lack of effective controls,” as if the system ever had any.

    “That’s the problem,” he said. “You can’t steer it, you can’t regulate it anymore. You can’t get the genie back in the bottle.”

    Thank you for Lesson One, economy 101, Mr “B,” and may you live long enough to witness the full scale of the environmental and social catastrophes, the impact of your lot’s casino economy on the world. May you live in interesting times!

    Related Fact:

    • Warren Buffet’s Net Worth: $62.0billion [Warren Buffet produced at least 30.628MMT of CO2 in 2007]
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Richest 100 : $1,725 billion
    • No. of World’s Billionaires : 1,125
    • Combined Net Worth of World’s Billionaires : $4,384 billion (source)
    • No. of people who live on less than $2 per day: About 4 billion (Source)

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    Posted in environment, human rights, inequality, politics, poverty, US, wealth | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »