Attention to Ethiopia (Africa): Corruption ‘impoverishes and kills millions’

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Corruption ‘impoverishes and kills millions’

 

Pile of dollars (file picture)
BBC (4 September 2014) The ONE group says money lost because of corruption would otherwise be spent on school and medicine. An estimated $1tn (£600bn) a year is being taken out of poor countries and millions of lives are lost because of corruption, according to campaigners.A report by the anti-poverty organisation One says much of the progress made over the past two decades in tackling extreme poverty has been put at risk by corruption and crime.

Corrupt activities include the use of phantom firms and money laundering. The report blames corruption for 3.6 million deaths every year.

If action were taken to end secrecy that allows corruption to thrive – and if the recovered revenues were invested in health – the group calculates that many deaths could be prevented in low-income countries.

Corruption is overshadowing natural disasters and disease as the scourge of poor countries, the report says.

One describes its findings as a “trillion dollar scandal”.

“Corruption inhibits private investment, reduces economic growth, increases the cost of doing business and can lead to political instability,” the report says.

“But in developing countries, corruption is a killer. When governments are deprived of their own resources to invest in health care, food security or essential infrastructure, it costs lives and the biggest toll is on children.”

The report says that if corruption was eradicated in sub-Saharan Africa:

  • Education would be provided to an additional 10 million children per year
  • Money would be available to pay for an additional 500,000 primary school teachers
  • Antiretroviral drugs for more than 11 million people with HIV/Aids would be provided

One is urging G-20 leaders meeting in Australia in November to take various measures to tackle the problem including making information public about who owns companies and trusts to prevent them being used to launder money and conceal the identity of criminals.

It is advocating the introduction of mandatory reporting laws for the oil, gas and mining sectors so that countries’ natural resources “are not effectively stolen from the people living above them”.

It is recommending action against tax evaders “so that developing countries have the information they need to collect the taxes they are due” and more open government so that people can hold authorities accountable for the delivery of essential services.

Read more @ original source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29049324

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-29040793

Poverty & Ethiopia: Poverty on the Streets of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)

 

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Poverty on the Streets of Addis Ababa

Published on September 1st, 2014 | by Meredith Maulsby

September 2, 2014 (The baines report) — Poverty can easily be seen throughout the capital of Ethiopia, but nowhere is it more evident than when you pass a beggar on the street.  Beggars are everywhere in Addis Ababa, and they represent a vast range of demographics. There are men, women, children of all ages and conditions– some with their mothers, some without, and the severely disabled.

Older children, rather than begging, try to sell you gum or clean your shoes, while the younger children walk in front of you asking for money or food, not leaving you until they spot another person to ask.  The women are often with young children, sometimes babies, and usually with more than one.  I was once walking down the street and a young child no older than 2 or 3 who was being held by his mother made the signal they all make to ask for food or money while calling me sister.  I thought this child probably learned this signal before he even learned how to speak.  Women are often seen grilling corn on the sidewalk on a small grill to sell to people passing by.

I have been told the severely disabled have most likely suffered from stunting, polio or the war.  I have seen men with disfigured legs so mangled that they can not walk but instead drag themselves down the sidewalk. Others are in wheelchairs and unable to walk.  And this city is not easy for the disabled.  The sidewalks, where they exist, are not always flat and not always paved. There are also often giant holes in the middle of the sidewalk or loose concrete slabs covering gutters.  On the main roads, near where I’m staying there are tarps and blankets off to the side of the road where the beggars must sleep or live.

It is a very difficult scene to walk through.  You want to help them all and give everyone a little bit of money or food. But there are so many it would be nearly impossible to give to them all.  We have been told to not give to beggars because once you give to one you will be surrounded by others.  When people do give money to beggars it is often very small bills or coins that will not go very far.

I have often wondered how much money they actually receive. Perhaps it would be beneficial to do more in depth look at why these people became beggars and where they come from. After a cursory search for research and reports on beggars in Addis Ababa, I found very little.  There is a study on the disabled beggars and a report focusing on children.  There is a documentary that follows two women who come to the capital from a rural town and become beggars in order to raise money for their family when climate change creates a food shortage.

Both the government of Ethiopia and large NGO’s, like USAID and the UN, are working to stop the “cycle of poverty.”   There are major health and nutrition projects being implemented all over the country, but these are long-term projects that do not address the immediate needs of people on the streets. Short term solutions such as creating shelters or centers for the disabled and homeless could allow beggars more opportunities for housing but could also generate income potential through workshops and other skill development programs.

Source: The baines report

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/poverty-on-the-streets-of-addis-ababa/