Developing countries today represent nearly 150 states in the world. Often opposed to developed countries, these poor countries are placed at the bottom of the chessboard of the global economy. Not only is their economic growth weak, but they also have to regularly face the shocks of climate change such as droughts, cyclones, or floods. Elements that complicate their living conditions. Who are these developing countries and how can we help them?
What is a Developing Country?
Not all developing countries have the same poverty line. However, many countries have common criteria. Although no official definition exists, a developing country is marked by a weak development of its industry, a weak agricultural production, and a demographic growth too important compared to the increase of its national income. These countries, to join the rich countries or industrialized countries, then try to implement the necessary means to improve the standard of living of their inhabitants, both from an economic and social point of view.
While we spoke of the third world until the 1990s, the terms “developing countries”, and especially “developing countries” are now widely used by the international community. This change in vocabulary is notably due to an inadequate use and the pejorative aspect of terms such as “third world” or “underdeveloped countries”.
However, while “developing country” is a primarily economic term, and established by organizations such as the World Bank or the World Trade Organization, the United Nations prefers to speak of LDCs:
Least Developed Countries
The latter do not form a specific category but represent the weakest part of developing countries. The term “Least Developed Countries” was introduced by the UN in 1971 with the aim of distinguishing between the poorest countries and those which are gradually emerging from an unstable economic and social situation as it is. this is the case for Brazil or even Taiwan, which we qualify as emerging countries.
Today, 47 countries are classified as Least Developed Countries including Benin, Cambodia, Haiti, Mali, Yemen and many more. The UN then uses this list of LDCs to grant development aid to the most vulnerable countries such as debt relief, technical and commercial support, etc.
According to the UN, a Least Developed Country is Distinguished by:
- A low national income: GDP less than 700 euros per person,
- A low level of human development measured according to an index combining infant mortality, nutrition and education indicators,
- An economic vulnerability defined by the country’s exposure to shocks and its resilience and its ability to respond to these,
- A population of fewer than 75 million inhabitants.
According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, by 2050, one in four young people in the world will live in a less developed country. Today, the least developed countries have more than one billion inhabitants or 13% of the world’s population.
The Importance of the Holistic Approach in Development Aid
Following the Millennium Development Goals set in place in 2000, the UN launched a new aid program in 2015, this time called “the Sustainable Development Goals”. The United Nations General Assembly, therefore, intends to improve the situation of developing countries, and more particularly of LDCs, by 2030.
To this end, the NGO World Vision intends to participate in improving living conditions in developing countries by fighting the root causes of poverty. The association acts in particular on six essential areas which are access to water, education, health, food, economic development, and child protection. This global approach to development aid, which can be called a holistic approach, makes it possible to respond to each of the essential areas of the life of children and their families.
Coming from the Greek “holes” meaning “in full”, the term holism designates a philosophical doctrine attached to taking into consideration the whole of a situation, rather than just one part.
In the context of development aid, the holistic approach considers all aspects related to development by helping families on different fronts: access to school, the creation of income-generating activities, the construction of infrastructure for hygiene and health, etc.
How can we help children to access school without giving families the necessary resources to encourage them?
It is important to see development aid as a whole, a global vision, otherwise lasting and effective effects will not be seen.
The economic development of communities is therefore one of the keys to improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable. Each community must be able to develop through reliable and sustainable economic activities, in order to improve food security and reduce episodes of famine.
Vision du Monde supports in particular the creation of activity by offering adults training in agricultural techniques, local entrepreneurship, budget management, and by supporting the youngest in their professional projects.
Helping communities achieve economic stability is a first step in responding to underlying problems such as children dropping out of school or even malnutrition. Today, more than 262 million children are out of school. When parents cannot afford to provide for their children, they are often requisitioned to work and do not go to school.
Apart from Education
It remains an essential weapon to fight poverty, prepare for the future and allow the development of an entire community. Going to school allows children to gain self-confidence and acquire solid knowledge and skills that benefit their entire village.
Achieving economic stability also enables families to reduce episodes of famine through new, more sustainable farming techniques, as well as the diversification of their income-generating activities.
Even today, 66 million students go hungry in the classroom in developing countries. To help communities and improve the well-being of children, many families are being made aware of good nutrition practices. Access points to drinking water are also set up in the communities to provide the infrastructure necessary for good hygiene and therefore good health.
Sponsorship: A Way to Help Developing Countries
Support for developing countries must be comprehensive and reach the entire population in various areas, both economic and social. To carry out all of its actions, World Vision relies on child sponsorship, an effective means of reaching an entire community and providing lasting help to children and families.
Donations collected through sponsorship programs are therefore not used for a single child since this is used to finance the various development aid projects within a region. From the construction of a well to the training of nursing staff or teachers, the whole community can benefit from the sponsorship. It is estimated that for a sponsored child, five children are helped within the community.
Sponsored children are thus widely encouraged to continue their education, and the entire village continues to develop under the best conditions.
Thanks to the actions of World Vision, and through the international partnership World Vision, a family receives the help necessary to overcome poverty every 60 seconds.
In order to better understand the needs of families, the association also relies on a local approach to development aid since 97% of its field teams are recruited locally. The NGO then works in close collaboration with families, local partners, and local authorities in the countries. Before starting a development program, it defines with the beneficiaries the various actions to be carried out as a priority.
Today, Thanks To This International Collaboration:
- 4 million children have access to an education adapted to their age and school level.
- 9.5 million people receive food assistance.
- Health programs are led by experts in 66 countries.
- More than 450,000 people have joined a collective savings group.
In 2019, the international NGO helped 200 million vulnerable children by fighting poverty. All this would not be possible without the help of the godfathers who contribute every day to the improvement of the living conditions of thousands of children.