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Common Characteristics of Developing Countries Essay

Developing countries share certain unique common characteristics. It is evident that most of these nations still grapple with issues concerning health, social amenities, and education. Challenges associated with public health include some of the common characteristics that may be noted within developing states (Todaro & Stephen 12). Their health systems are underdeveloped and a remarkable percentage of the population cannot access adequate health care.

This challenge may be due to a lack of resources to establish and decentralize sufficient and well-equipped health care service delivery facilities to the population. The local populations are highly affected. Other public health challenges compound to cause high mortality and morbidity rates within such nations.

Lack of proper education and human resources include other similar problems faced by the developing nations. Due to low-income levels, most populations within the developing nations cannot access quality education. Moreover, the systems of formal learning within such countries are ineffective (Todaro & Stephen 19). These education systems are not designed in a transformative manner. Consequently, there is a generation of an impaired workforce in the employment industry.

This challenge has contributed to poor performance within key industrial firms and business organizations. Frequent tensions are arising from civil wars within these developing states. Particularly, this is common within African nations.

The chief causes of such conflicts may include conflicts on natural resources, political instabilities, and tribal hatred. The developing nations encounter the severe impacts of disasters. These include both natural and technological disasters. This occurs mainly because they lack proper and comprehensive mechanisms for disaster prevention, management, and mitigation. Issues of food insecurity and safety usually confront these nations.

This is caused by a lack of initiative to employ effective agricultural systems with adequate technology to enhance food production. Lastly, there are prevalent challenges associated with housing and shelter (Todaro & Stephen 31). Most citizens of these countries lack access to improved and standardized housing facilities. Indeed, this is evident from the high number of slums and informal settlements within these nations. Developing nations indeed share many challenges.

Population and Environment

The environment forms the fundamental orientation of both human, animal, and plant life. The study of eco-biology indicates the basic interactions between different components of the environment. All humans depend on the resources found within the environment. Analytically, this observation potentiates a critical fact. There is a population a given environment can sustain. Of course, this occurs only within a specified period (Todaro & Stephen 37).

Human beings normally fight for the resources available within the general environment. Therefore, whenever scarcity of these environmental resources arises, there is a likelihood that conflicts might also emerge. Increased population strains the available resources to a negligible level.

Ideally, the environment forms the basic platform for human life. All other supportive services and resources of importance to human nature emerge from the environment. It is correct to insinuate that the population and environment share a mutual relationship. Notably, this means that the environment can dictate the population it can sustain (Todaro & Stephen 40). The environment directly manipulates population growth.

This is because the environment is the main source of food and other crucial resources. These are vital for human beings to form associations and procreate. Perhaps, this explains the lack of human habitation within desert regions. The effects of population growth on the environment are unavoidable.

The Malthusian theory explains this relationship in a very empirical manner (Todaro & Stephen 45). Human beings strain the environment through various anthropogenic activities. These lead to environmental degradation and pollution. Observably, highly populated regions are characterized by a high level of environmental pollution and degradation. The environment that supports a high population growth rate has enough resources. These resources are appropriate for effective and uniform human growth and development. Generally, there is a direct association in association between population growth and the environment. However, it is significant to examine other interactions and interrelations that affect this association.


Trade is an important component of economic development. In the recent past, countries have adopted transformative measures. These measures are geared towards enhancing the level of their domestic and international participation in trade. Scholars and personalities have supposed different theoretical models regarding local, regional, and global trade. Ha-Joon Chan is one of such personalities that have contributed immensely to the understanding and analysis of trade (Todaro & Stephen 54).

His reiterations concerning the movement towards free trade remain strategic and sound. According to Ha-Joon Chan, the movement towards free trade will make the rich nations to “kick away the ladder.” The ladder herein refers to the means through which these rich nations gained their success. This statement implies that most rich nations succeeded due to restrictions on international trade.

Most protocols on global and regional trade have been punitive to certain nations. However, some of the rich nations have gained remarkably from such protocols and regulations. This explains why Ha-Joon Chang observes the significance of free trade in alleviating these partial regulations. Free trade will enable developing nations to interact and engage in liberalized international trade. The environment will have minimal restrictions based on international boundaries, currencies, and the quality of goods among other things (Todaro & Stephen 59).

This state of activities is crucial for most emergent economies that have encountered severe discrimination within the international trading platform. Ha-Joon Chang notes that most rich nations will lose the channels and loopholes of wealth creation through unnecessary restrictions. Generally, this is a form of a liberalized situation. The statement focuses on third world states and their mode of acquiring wealth.

​The International Debt Crisis

The international debt crisis has a long and interesting history. Most countries decided to devise their economic policies and principles following their early independence. In Africa, some of the post-independent economic policies were based on the systems of particular colonizers. The cold war marked the beginning of the international debt crisis (Todaro & Stephen 78). The period was marred with a lot of borrowing from wealthy foreign governments and banks.

Observably, these loans were provided at attractive and discounted rates of interest. These transactions were done minus the interests of the welfare of average citizens within the borrowing nations. This situation was propagated by the fear of the US that some countries could be transformed into a communist. These fears made poor nations to take huge loans at uneconomical logic and rates.

The “oil crisis” marked the second stride in the development of the debt crisis. This involved the extreme hiking of prices by the oil-rich nations. After gaining huge money from hiked oil prices, these nations deposited their money within western financial institutions. The changes in the value of the US dollar catapulted the process. At the end of the 1970s, there was a major financial shift. High-interest rates in the world markets struck the poor nations heavily (Todaro & Stephen 87).

Oil prices doubled and basic commodities became very expensive. During the era of President Reagan, these poor nations paid heavily on their debts and loosed the value of their exports. The debt crisis later emerged in the 1980s. The entire rot was unearthed when Mexico threatened to default her repayments in 1982. The consequent steps are taken only safeguarded the creditors. Nonetheless, these initiatives failed to address the debt crisis.

Foreign Aid

There are several debates concerning foreign aid and its capacity to initiate growth and development. There is a generalized belief that foreign aid can buy growth. However, this is only possible under certain prescribed conditions. For instance, foreign aid must be channeled to areas in which it can perform the highest good. Foreign aid only buys growth within nations that have adopted the sound and proper policies.

These frameworks must relate to financial, trade, and fiscal issues. From here, is imperative to evaluate the characteristics of a “good policy” (Todaro & Stephen 92). According to some economists, the objective of the aid must be stated modestly. In essence, a particular aid ought to offer some benefits to the poor. Perhaps, this is when it might qualify to buy growth. Generally, there are severe debates on this issue and most assumptions remain contestable.

Works Cited

Todaro, Michael P, & Stephen C. Smith. Economic Development. Boston: Pearson Addison Wesley, 2009. Print.

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