Where I live, poverty is rife. Poverty is intense. People are battling the hardest lives imaginable, yet there is simply nothing that is happening to end extreme poverty. But humanity somehow believes people like us must simply sit & wait for the right people to come and change things?
b). The long answer:
Extreme poverty is increasingly becoming a problem of only one part of the world: Sub Saharan Africa.
One pre-pandemic projection by the World Bank (in 2018) indicated that, by 2030,over 90% of the world’s extreme poor (400m+) will live in Sub Saharan Africa. It should be noted, however, that Sub Saharan African poverty itself isn’t created equal. It is tougher in given regions, and I happen to be living in one of its hotspots.
My country Uganda is among the crème de la crème of Sub Saharan African poverty, and is among the5 poorest worldwide, by GDP by per capita. This essentially places us in the poorest 3, in Sub Saharan Africa alone.
But my region Busoga is the ultimate furnace.
As a country, Uganda is among the poorest in Sub Saharan Africa.
Eastern Uganda, meanwhile, which is where I live, and where I am seated even now, is Uganda’s most impoverished. At 39,479 sq km, eastern Uganda is bigger than Rwanda and The Gambia combined, and has an estimated population of 10.5 million.
On the other hand, my region Busoga, also in eastern Uganda, stretches 10,318 sq km, nearly the size of The Gambia.
But, if you spoke to anyone elsewhere in Uganda, and asked them what they know about Busoga, the very first thing they will tell you is the severe poverty.
The thing is:
Even those people in other parts of Uganda who themselves live in abject poverty, and who themselves do not have anything — as long as they belong to a place other than Busoga — one thing that they will tell you about Busoga is the ultra poverty. Yet they don’t live here.
And they are right. According to a 2021reportby the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (which you can also read abouthere), Busoga is the poorest in eastern Uganda, and in Uganda as a whole.
My two neighboring districts are even war.
Even in Busoga itself, my two neighboring districts Kamuli & Buyende, which make up 3,300 sq km, with over a million people, are plainly the most miserable.
In Kamuli & Buyende, it is even very, very hard to find anything that is happening to end extreme poverty.
And the deeper you go, e.g. the region between Kamuli town and Lake Kyoga in Buyende, which is where I live, the harder people’s livelihoods become. As someone who has spent the vast portion of my life in ultra poverty, this surely worries me.
This is the reason I find it very painful to understand that humanity, really, is opposed to the idea of directly supporting those of us who live in chronic poverty, to the extent of only allowing the poor in the global south as a whole to receive only 1% of all global antipoverty funding!