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Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

The 48 percent

Posted by feww on December 24, 2011

Xmas Special:

48% of Americans are Poor or Low-Income;
48% of the US Tax Dollars Goes to the Military

A record 48 percent of Americans—146.4 million—have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income, an increase of 4 million people since 2009.

[NOTES: Under the new guidelines by Supplemental Poverty Measure for 2011, issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 48 percent of Americans, or 146.4 million people, are living in poverty or on low incomes, earning less than $44,700 for a family of four, an increase of 4 million people since 2009.  The poverty level for a family of four was set at income below $23,500 per year. Over 49 million Americans (16 percent) fall below the poverty line.

Poverty v. ‘Power’

The 2012 United States federal budget is a staggering $2,847 billion, of which 48% ($1,372 billion) is allocated to the military. (Source)

[NOTES: The figure includes 30% or $869 billion for current military operations and 18% or $503 billion for past military disasters from Total Outlays of $2,847 billion in 2012 fiscal year. “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not to mention the Pentagon’s voracious appetite for expensive weapons systems—have been a gold mine for the Big Five:  Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman and Boeing.” ~ “From Pentagon, a Buy Rating on Contractors,” Joe Nocera, New York Times, Feb. 11, 2011]

Other Poverty Dividends

According to a new report by The National Center on Family Homelessness more than 1.6 million children are homeless annually in America. This represents an increase of 38% since 2007.

Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point in their lives between ages 25 and 75.

Posted in poverty | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You Donated Money to Haiti EQ Disaster Victims?

Posted by feww on February 20, 2010

YOUR Money Didn’t Reach them

Food crisis looms in rural Haiti

Source: CARE; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Date: 19 Feb 2010

More than a month after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January, FAO and CARE have issued a joint alert over a national food crisis.

“This is a hidden but pervasive crisis that has already touched all corners of the country,” said Dick Trenchard, Assessments Coordinator for FAO in Haiti. “Rural areas experiencing the highest levels of displacement from Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas are the most affected, particularly the Artibonite in the west and Grand’Anse in the south.”

Rapid assessments undertaken by FAO and its partners in the Agriculture Cluster have shown that “host families” caring for displaced people are spending their meagre savings to feed new arrivals and consuming food stocks.

In many cases these poor people are resorting to eating the seeds they have stored for the next planting season and eating or selling their livestock, in particular goats.

“We are seeing clear signs that people are already resorting to worrying and unsustainable coping strategies to try and help the estimated 500 000 people who migrated to rural areas and other smaller urban centres after the earthquake,” said Trenchard.

Two weeks to planting

“The main planting season, which accounts for over 60 percent of annual production, will start in less than a fortnight,” said Jean-Dominique Bodard, CARE’s Emergency Food Security Specialist.

“If the host families have no means to buy seeds or other ways to obtain quality seeds, this will be a disaster for them,” he added. “There is another aspect to this vicious circle. Due to lack of cash, many host farmers will not be able to hire day labourers for the planting.

“As a result, the labourers will not earn money to feed their families and the planting will not be carried out to the extent it could be if the workforce were available,” Bodard said.

In the rural sector, farmers lack cash to buy seeds for the upcoming planting season and food prices have already risen 10 percent compared to before the quake – an indicator for worse things to come. One immediate solution might be cash-for-work programmes in the agricultural sector.

“We need to inject money fast before the planting season starts”, explained Bodard. “Food distributions can help alleviate the immediate suffering after the disaster, but in the long run what is needed most is cash for the farmers to be able to invest and regain their autonomy.”


FAO has kick-started a small cash-for-work programme cleaning out irrigation canals in Léogâne and CARE will work to scale it up in the coming days from, 600 to 4,000 people.

“This will be a much-needed financial boost at a crucial time when people are desperate to take their lives back into their own hands and will provide a much-needed injection into rural markets that have slumped since the earthquake,” said Trenchard.

As part of the recovery phase, CARE plans to support community-based organizations in activities such as water management, product marketing and capacity building.

These activities will contribute directly to the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development’s “Special Emergency and Support to Food Production Programme in Haiti in Response to the 12 January 2010 Earthquake, the Integration of Displaced Populations and prevention of the hurricane season.”

That programme is supported by FAO and the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Cluster leader

As the leader of the UN’s agricultural cluster in Haiti, FAO coordinates international and national organisations in the sector. Part of its work is to ensure donors and agencies on the ground work within government guidelines.

CARE is already present in Léogâne, a farming town to the west of Port-au Prince that was 80 percent destroyed by the earthquake, providing shelter, emergency supplies, water and sanitation facilities and health support for mothers and pregnant women.

FAO is supporting small scale farmers with essential agriculture inputs such as quality seeds and tools are being distributed.

Related Links:

Posted in Earthquake aftermath, Haiti, PORT-AU-PRINCE, poverty | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two jailed for toxic waste dumping in Ivory Coast

Posted by feww on October 23, 2008

Trafigura, Dutch-based international oil trader, escapes punishment for toxic poisoning

Two men were jailed for 20 and five years over the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast that killed 17 people and sickened thousands more in 2006.

The two were found guilty of distributing the waste from a ship chartered by the Dutch-based international oil trader, Trafigura, at open sites across Abidjan, Ivory Coasts’s largest city and its banking and commercial center.

Trafigura was exempted from legal proceedings as they had already agreed to a $200 million out-of-court compensation settlement with the Ivory Coast authorities.

“Defense lawyers in the Abidjan hearings had repeatedly complained that it was unfair for their clients to be in the dock when executives from Trafigura were not on trial.” Reuters said.

Poor inhabitants of Abidjan laundering clothes in the river. Image: Ferdinand Reusat Source: Licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

In 2006, thousands of Abidjan residents required hospital treatment for breathing difficulties, diarrhoea and vomiting after exposure to noxious fumes from the deadly cargo of the Panamanian-registered Probo Koala. Read more…

Posted in Abidjan, compensation, environment, poverty, Western Africa | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Vatican: Loitering at the precipice of irrelevance

Posted by feww on March 11, 2008

The Vatican’s New Sins: One Sin Short of the Grand Jackpot!

Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount. [Note: Subject is not wearing a crown!]

Loitering at the precipice of irrelevance, the Kingdom of Vatican has refreshed its traditional seven deadly sins by creating seven modern mortal sins it regards as relevent in an era of “unstoppable globalization.”

The New Seven [Mortal Sins]

  • Environmental pollution [Does that include the 4.6-ton Popemobil which is transported by Hercules plane and is flown all over the world with the “holy entourage?]
  • Genetic manipulation [Moderators reserve comment on this one until the issue is clarified.]
  • Accumulating excessive wealth [How much is much too much? Does that apply to catholic billionaires?]
  • Inflicting poverty [Does paucity of knowledge also count?]
  • Drug trafficking and consumption [What about gambling, prostitution and the war racket?]
  • Morally debatable experiments [Is birth control a morally debatable experiment?]
  • Violation of fundamental rights of human nature [Is the exponential growth economy one such fundamental violation? If not, what about his holiness Tony Blair?]

The Old Seven [Deadly Sins]

  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Gluttony
  • Lust
  • Anger
  • Greed
  • Sloth

Christ en majesté, Matthias Grünewald, 16th c.: Resurrection of Jesus
[Look! Still no crown. Much paler than the previous apparition, however, the subject is flying without wings!]

Why are some still bickering?

They believe “the Holy See” is shortchanging its subjects. They are one sin short of winning the grand jackpot!

Related Links:

Posted in christianity, environment, GE, globalization, Holy See, jesus, nature, poverty, religion, sin, vatican, wealth | Leave a Comment »

Older White Women Join Kenya’s Sex Tourists

Posted by msrb on November 27, 2007

Here’s another group of criminals spreading deadly diseases in impoverished countries under the guise of tourism.

“Bethan, 56, lives in southern England on the same street as best friend Allie, 64. They are on their first holiday to Kenya, a country they say is ‘just full of big young boys who like us older girls.'” Original story

Posted in AIDS, poverty, Sex Tourists, wealth | Leave a Comment »