Poverty

US: Food insecurity

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There is a sharp rise in hunger in the US.

Some 17 million US households suffered "food insecurity" at some point in 2008, according to a survey by the US Department of Agriculture. This figure, comprising just under 15 percent of all households, was up sharply from 13 million in 2007 and has now reached the highest level since such surveys began in 1995.

Food insecurity is a polite expression for hunger and is defined in the report as households that "had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to lack of resources" - lack of money, in other words.

US: Poverty

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7.7 percent of households have no bank account.

Of those households with no bank account, 21.7 percent are black, 19.3 percent Hispanic, 15.6 percent Native American and 3.3 percent white. A further 17.9 percent of households are "underbanked', that is, they have limited access to banking facilities. That's almost 54 percent of black households, 44.5 percent of Native American households and 43.3 percent of Hispanic households.

India: Poverty behind the tiger

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India's growing economy has benefited a corrupt elite. But the masses only get poorer.

November's deadly attacks in Mumbai had one peculiar side-effect on the British media. Journalists were forced out into the streets and discovered that the vast majority of the city's population are still poor.

Since then the deep contrast between the lives of India's upper middle class and that of the mass of people has been emphasised in Aravind Adiga's Man Booker Prize winning novel, The White Tiger, and Danny Boyle's rags to riches film, Slumdog Millionaire.

Class, food and poverty

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You won't be surprised to know that I don't have much in common with Jamie Oliver.

He, after all, is an internationally renowned chef, while my cooking skills are so bad that on occasions I have been known to burn water. He has a media fortune estimated to be worth a cool £25 million, while according to the latest correspondence from my bank I am part of its toxic debt.

New Orleans, Old Prejudices

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Mike Davis finds that every aspect of the response to Hurricane Katrina disaster was shaped by race and class.

The tempest which destroyed New Orleans was conjured out of tropical seas and an angry atmosphere 125 miles offshore of the Bahamas. Labelled initially as 'Tropical Depression 12' on 23 August, it quickly intensified into 'Tropical Storm Katrina'. Making landfall near Miami on 24 August, Katrina had grown into a small hurricane - 'Category 1' on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Crossing over Florida to the Gulf of Mexico where it wandered for four days, Katrina underwent a monstrous and largely unexpected transformation.

Ecology against Capitalism: Slum Ecology

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Urban poverty and climatic hazards are a deadly cocktail for millions, as Mike Davis explains.

A villa miseria outside Buenos Aires may have the world's worst fenshui: it is built 'over a former lake, a toxic dump, and a cemetery, and in a flood zone'. But then a hazardous, health-threatening location is the geographical definition of the typical squatters' settlement: whether it is a barrio perched precariously on stilts over the excrement-clogged Pasig River in Manila, or the bustee in Vijayawada where 'residents have door numbers written on pieces of furniture because the houses, along with the doors, [are] washed away by floods every year'.

The End of Poverty?

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We can make poverty history, but not if we accept the logic of market liberalization.

Make Poverty History is going to pull vast numbers to Edinburgh the Saturday before the G8 opens in Scotland next month. They will be living testimony to the enormous feeling over world poverty, particularly in Africa. They will also show how much things have moved on since the time of Band Aid, when the single message was one of charity. Now it is one which involves calls for political action on debt, trade and aid.

Through the Eyes of the Child

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Tony Staunton looks behind the rhetoric of 'children's rights'.

The headlines are becoming as familiar as they are phenomenal; 33,000 children die each day from preventable illnesses; at least 250 million children are in effective slavery to transnational corporations; the expansion of the global sex industry with a disproportionate increase in child abduction, with more than 1 million entering the sex trade each year, some as young as five years old.

Make Poverty History

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A new protest movement has emerged which challenges the priorities of the G8, as Chris Nineham explains.

'Make Poverty History' is becoming a rallying cry for 2005. Following the London European Social Forum the Make Poverty History (MPH) campaign promises to take the global justice movement to a new level.

MPH brings together all the developmental NGOs, most trade unions, many campaigning organisations and a range of celebrities. It is campaigning against the debt, for serious aid and for fair trade.

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