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The contemporary issue of global conflict and poverty crisis requires the attention of international communities and governments. World leaders, governments, and organizations have battled in vain to curb these international issues through a range of interventions, which have not yet yielded any universal solutions. Based on the increased apprehension of global security and outgrowth of poor economies, policymakers have lately changed their ordinary view of the causes of security threats. The aim of this policy paper is to explore the origin, relevance, and interrelationship between conflict and poverty. An exploration of these aspects is important in the field of IPE since it will enable researchers to formulate possible solutions that international communities and countries can adopt to curb global conflict and poverty crisis.
Background to Global Conflict and Poverty Crisis
Conservatively, global ethnic, racial, and international conflicts stem from primeval aversions and political divisions between nations and international communities that existed in ancient times (Atwood 195). Some researchers assert that scramble for land and its resources, slavery, and racial differences led to long-lasting battles and political standoffs between global communities. According to empirical research that was done by Starr, early researchers linked the cause of conflict and poverty to ancient animosity and slave trade that resulted in inequality, racial profiling, discernment, and civil wars (206).
Conventionally, this conservative approach has some factual aspects that link to incidences of conflict and poverty amongst races, ethnic groups, religions, and nations. However, modern research has revealed that meager economies, depleted resources, and low income-per-capita are the major causal agents for contemporary global conflict and poverty (Oatley 6; Spoor 24). Until recently, researchers had not considered the contribution of the economic state of affairs to global conflicts and poverty. Likewise, conflict results in the depletion of government resources and further deterioration of economies. This situation leads to amplified poverty levels amongst citizens. Poverty and limited employment opportunities result in hunger-stricken communities and joblessness amongst youths. Joblessness leads to idleness that creates an ideal prerequisite for committing a crime to seek means of survival.
Crime creates tensions amongst communities that eventually start internal conflicts (Atwood, 198). Kugler emphasizes that poverty and conflicts coexist mutually not only at local levels but also in the international arena (4). Terrorism is the most commonly understood consequence of international conflicts. However, international conflicts also aggravate poverty, human trafficking, the spread of diseases, and the destruction of fauna and flora.
Poor countries depend mainly on natural resources for revenue. According to Atwood, the existences of abundant natural resources in some countries cause conflicts and poverty (200). Communities across the globe have a tendency of fighting over land, water, oil, gas, diamond, and/or gold, among other naturally occurring resources. Brainard and Chollet reveal that the economies of more than fifty countries in the developing world count on natural resources for their national income (32).
Owing to corrupt leaders and the existing large gaps between the rich and the poor, these resources only benefit the national politicians and a few elites who have the capability to venture into equivocal businesses. As a result, many nationalities develop both local conflicts as citizens fight for their rights. International conflicts also emerge as world leaders engage in resource competitions. Most researchers perceive this phenomenon as a waste of national resources, a situation that aggravates economic devastation. Kim and Conceição reveal that conflicts that emanate from competition for natural resources have claimed the lives and left many people in the world of poverty, hunger, and diseases (31).
The study of international conflicts and poverty crisis is important for individuals, communities, and nations across the world. The knowledge about these contemporary issues enables people to understand the devastating nature of conflict and poverty (Oatley 19). Global conflicts force governments, especially from the developed nations, to divert financial resources that are meant for other purposes to cover medical bills, relocate people, and/or provide food and clothing for conflict victims. Local governments also play a great role as they divert their resources to refugee camps while at the same time enhancing security (Kim and Conceição 31).
People have to acknowledge the existence of conflict and poverty as a major cause of slow or even stagnant, individual, and economic development. Destruction of social institutions and degradation of political ties between individuals, communities, and nationalities leaves countries, especially in the developing world, begging for foreign aid and security. Economic development becomes a national crisis as victim communities, and countries strive to regain political stability and/or provide protection for their resources. This knowledge enables policymakers and researchers to formulate amicable means of conflict resolution and poverty alleviation (Kugler 11).
Recommendations for Conflict-Poverty Resolution
Empowerment strategies constitute one of the major solutions that might be proposed as a solution for conflict and poverty issues. Empowerment is an important tool for a problem solver. The existence of a few educated individuals in a country correlates directly to the poverty levels of a country. Governments have to support education leaders to increase the overall enrollment in learning institutions (Justino, Bruck, and Verwimp 106). Learning institutions should include conflict resolution and poverty alleviation topics in their curricula. As such, learners will acknowledge the existence of international conflicts and the poverty crisis.
They will gain from learning the problems that are associated with violence and the resulting poverty. Loch and Prueller (315) note that the possibility of conflicts in poor economies reduces as educational levels go higher. Educated individuals are more independent in terms of income generation and decision-making in relation to less-educated individuals. However, despite the fact that empowerment levels are affected by factors such as gender and age in many countries, poor countries mostly succumb to conflicts due to high birth rates together with inadequate education. Disadvantaged families fail to send their children to learning institutions to have them equipped with the necessary skills because of a lack of finances.
Secondly, governmental and non-governmental organizations should empower youths to participate actively in nation-building. These organizations should engage youths in capacity building activities as a way of alleviating idleness. Idleness leads to unknowledgeable political cocoons that eventually result in criminal activities and civil wars. Capacity training activities provide easy access to the acquisition of life skills and knowledge to the youths. These activities acquaint individuals with entrepreneurship skills that are necessary for self-reliance (Brainard and Chollet 32). Governments should prioritize the creation of job opportunities in the public sector for the youths. Alongside the creation of job opportunities, they should encourage individuals to venture into small businesses by providing assistance such as soft business loans through the establishment of youth fund programs.
Entrepreneurship keeps people busy and focused. To a greater advantage, it creates more job opportunities for other people. Governments should also empower the private sector to provide more employment opportunities. Generally, youth empowerment activities keep away ill thinking that drives young people into eerie political activism (Starr 209). Nevertheless, corruption and misappropriation of funds in both public and private sectors create fashioned financial instabilities that lead to fewer training opportunities for the youths.
Lastly, governments should seek other means of driving their economies to avoid overreliance on natural resources. Kim and Conceição agree with the fact that overreliance on natural resources creates a circle of political interests amongst political leaders, both locally and internationally (31). Cold battles over such resources lead to tension amongst local communities. In such situations, the likelihood of civil war emerges as communities develop an interest in natural resources. In addition, the world’s leading economies, such as the United States, China, and Europe, should devise comprehensive conflict resolution and poverty alleviation approaches for the developing economies (Atwood 163).
Countries should gear towards the development of the private sector through the creation of diversified industries. The development of the private sector will increase products for local use as well as export products. As a result, per-capita-income will increase. Unluckily, international communities have varied opinions pertaining to conflict resolution techniques. As a result, there is a minimal probability that the people of the world will come up with a universal policy to govern overreliance on natural resources.
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Policy Solution for Conflict Resolution and Poverty Alleviation
Presently, there is no superior policy solution to create a balance between conflict and poverty. However, a combination of solutions may feasibly serve a significant role in controlling the problem. Conflicting countries should enact stern policies to govern the improvement of their per-capita-income. Justino, Bruck, and Verwimp reveal that countries with less per-capita-income are more likely to engage in conflicts than countries that have a higher per-capita-income (104). In addition, international communities and political leaders should embrace sound governance to ensure the proper implementation of revenue generation policies (Oatley 13).
This plan requires a comprehensive set of reinforcing strategies and support from the world’s best economies to provide financial aids to fund revenue-generating activities. These per-capita-income policies should have provisions for amendments to match the international economic trends when there is a necessity for adjustment. However, the existence of prudent leaders in the country and cooperation with international economies highly determines the implementation of such policies. Therefore, governments should invest immensely in political and social education to perpetuate the existence of knowledgeable citizenry for the sake of future leadership. In addition to the above per-capita-income policy, I would propose the development of entrepreneurship policy for the youths. Governments should encourage and support youths to engage in business-related activities.
This policy should also have a provision for engagements in international trade treaties to enable successful entrepreneurs to seek markets for their anticipated export products. Engagement in international trade relations does not only attract foreign investment but also increases the national revenue (Loch and Prueller 316).
Persistent global conflict and poverty crises have devastating effects on the economic, social, and demographic aspects of life. This policy paper has investigated the source, significance, and the link between conflict and poverty. The consequences of local and international conflicts last for a very long time before a country regains national stability. The fact that political issues dominate most international conflicts, which eventually amplify poverty levels, policies that should be conceived through strict legislation remain the only way to maintain peace between folks and the public. To realize the purpose of this policy paper, governments have to execute the aforementioned recommendation as a workable policy solution.
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Kim, Namsukand, and Pedro Conceição. The Economic Crisis, Violent Conflict, and Human Development, 2009. Web.
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