Why are some countries poor?
A miner at Nangodi mine, Ghana, pans crushed
rock to see if any gold is present
Photo: Toby Adamson/Oxfam
One way to find out is to look at their history. Some countries
are poor today because in the past, powerful European nations took
them over as colonies and exploited their natural resources (gold
and diamonds, for example). The people were sometimes sold as slaves
or used as cheap labour. Their land was taken away and used to grow
luxuries for rich people sugar, for example.
Although these events happened a long time ago, they still cause
problems today. We can also look at relationships between countries,
such as trading or political links, and consider who benefits most
Facts about poverty
Every year around 17 million people die from diseases which
could be treated.
80% of all illness in the world is caused by dirty drinking
nearly one in three people in the world cannot read or write.
190 million 10 to 14-year-olds in the developing world have