Saturday, April 19, 2014

The World Bank defines extreme poverty, as someone getting by on less than US$1.25 a day. This sounds arbitrary but it’s a baseline. Put aside, for a moment, valid debates about monetised baselines as the paradigm for measuring affliction in this world ruled by economists (and how human development seems to necessarily entail the scouring of our finite planet, and how this is all caught up in fundamentally unjust relations of power in a white supremacist world structured by European-authored imperialism).

The number of extremely poor is currently about 1.2 billion people, says the Bank: nearly one in five human beings.

Anyway, this chart has been doing the rounds as the Bank released a report last week. One in three very poor people (by this measurement) are in India, with its overall population of about 1.2 billion people. The DR Congo sticks out of the countries doing the worst in per head terms, though, if you consider its population; and Tanzania, really. China’s population is about 1.3 billion, Nigeria about 177 million, Bangladesh about 166 million. The DRC’s population is about 77 million and Tanzania about 50 million. (Pakistan’s population is about 196 million currently, Indonesia’s maybe 253 million, and Ethiopia’s about 96 million, whilst Kenya’s is a somewhat more modest 45 million or so. These population estimates for mostly mid-2014 were lifted from the CIA factbook.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Their going looked like a disaster

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

'If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything'

Friday, March 7, 2014

In August-September 2005, during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the worst flooded area of “Central City” was, at 4,687 km², [inhabitants / sq km] the city’s largest population density and on the site of a former lake at 1.5 metres below sea level (New Orleans Community Data Center, 2005). The majority of inhabitants were low-income and black, an ethnic minority in the USA with a long history of disadvantage, which added to an already rich melting pot of vulnerability. Social, including political and economic, forces had obliged disadvantaged communities to occupy the most vulnerable areas of a vulnerable city. Those same forces created and perpetuated poverty, which enmeshed in this vulnerability and led to characteristics of place that were, to some degree, defined not just by the people and their poverty, but also by the fact that the people and their poverty developed according to the characteristics of the place. These characteristics of place were further defined by people in other, less poor places, who enjoyed the national advantages of New Orleans’ port and culture without concern for the consequences for other people living in the same city.

from here.