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Global Perspectives: Wealth & Poverty: Intro

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  • UN Millenium Goals



Wealth and Poverty Unit: Glossary of Useful Terminology


absolute poverty:
a condition that exists when people do not have the means to secure the most basic necessities of life [1]
Debt Relief may take the form of cancellation, rescheduling, refinancing or re-organisation. Interest and principal foregone from debt cancellation forms part of DFID programme expenditure whilst other debt relief is funded from other official sources.[2]
Debt cancellation is relief from the burden of repaying both the principal and interest on past loans. Most of the poorest countries have had outstanding debt arising from past aid loans cancelled.[3]
Debt rescheduling is a form of relief by which the dates on which principal or interest payments are due are delayed or re-arranged.[4]
Debt refinancing is a form of relief in which a new loan or grant is arranged to enable the debtor country to meet the service payments on an earlier loan.[5]
Developing Country The DAC defines a list of developing countries eligible to receive ODA. In 1996 a number of countries, including Israel, ceased to be eligible for ODA. A second group of countries, ‘Countries and Territories in Transition’ including Central and Eastern Europe are eligible for ‘Official Aid’ - not to be confused with ‘Official Development Assistance’. OA has the same terms and conditions as ODA, but it does not count towards the 0.7% target, because it is not going to developing countries[6]
developing nations:
countries undergoing transformation from agrarian to industrial economies[7]
Developing Countries Developing countries are all countries and territories in Africa; in America (except the United States, Canada, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Falkland Islands); in Asia (except Japan, Brunei, Hong Kong, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and United Arab Emirates); in the Pacific (except Australia and New Zealand) and Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Gibraltar, Malta, Moldova, Turkey and the states of ex-Yugoslavia in Europe.[8]
developed nations:
countries with highly industrialized economies; technologically-advanced industrial, administrative, and service occupations; and relatively high levels of national and per capita (per person) income [9]
developed nation
a nation that is relatively wealthy and usually industrialized.  Most of the people in developed nations have at least adequate access to food, electricity, fossil fuels, education, and medicine with the consequence that their lives are materially more comfortable and their life spans are significantly longer than those in underdeveloped nations.  The United States, most of Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand are developed nations. [10]
per capita income for a group of people may be defined as their total personal income, divided by the total population. Per capita income is usually reported in units of currency per year.  Per capita income is often used as a measure of the wealth of the population of a nation, particularly in comparison to other nations. It is usually expressed in terms of a commonly-used international currency such as the Euro or United States dollar, and is useful because it is widely known and produces a straightforward statistic for comparison.[11]
poverty rate:
the proportion of the population whose income falls below the government's official poverty line—the level of income below which a family of a given size is considered to be poor [12]
poverty line: is the level of income below which one cannot afford to purchase all the resources one requires to live. People who have an income below the poverty line have no discretionary disposable income, by definition.  It is widely discussed how and where to set the poverty line. In practice, different countries often use different poverty lines. Globally, however, it is more common to use only one poverty line in order to compare economic welfare levels. When comparing poverty across countries, the purchasing power parity exchange rates are used. These are used because poverty levels otherwise would change with the normal exchange rates. Thus, 'living for under $1 a day' should be understood as having a daily total consumption of goods and services comparable to the amount of goods and services that can be bought in the US for $1.[13]
underdeveloped nation
a nation in which most of the people are persistently poor due to the way they are integrated into the world economic system.  They usually provide cheap raw materials and labor for the rich, developed nations and purchase their manufactured goods at high prices.  The economies of underdeveloped societies are largely dependent on the richer nations.  Bangladesh and Guatemala are examples of underdeveloped, or third world, nations.  See developed nation and undeveloped society. [14]

undeveloped society
a largely isolated society that has a low technological level but is economically self-reliant. They are not participants in the world economic system.  Such societies mainly consist of indigenous peoples who have subsistence economies.  By definition, undeveloped societies are not underdeveloped.  Tibet and Afghanistan up until the 1950's are examples of undeveloped societies. [15]
the value of all economic assets, including income, personal property, and income-producing property [16]
welfare state:
a program under which the government takes responsibility for specific categories of people by offering them certain services and benefits, such as employment, housing, health, education, or income[17]


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