Top 10 Poorest Countries in The World As Of July 2021
Many countries most affected by poverty are also those that are caught up in other crises like conflict, hunger and climate change. We will be looking at the ten most fiscally poor countries in the world and the factors that contribute to this ranking.
The concern goes where it is most needed in the fight against extreme poverty. But exactly where is this? Which countries are most in need of assistance?
It is not surprising that the countries on our list are also affected by other factors like war, disease, conflict, and extreme weather such as drought. These factors often add up to create poverty cycles in communities.
It’s not as simple as just dollars and cents. Let’s first look at how the rankings are created.
But first, a disclaimer
It’s a difficult word to define “poor”. Although we can rank countries based on a variety of economic and development factors, just as we can rank the world’s hungriest countries, this is only one way to look at their wealth. It’s easy to understand and use for a story such as this. It’s not always descriptive, like most shorthand.
We envision a world without poverty, fear, and oppression. A world where everyone is treated with dignity. Although poverty is an inescapable fact of human life, it doesn’t define a person, family or community. All of us have human dignity and it must be respected.
If poverty is to be defeated, it will fall on the shoulders of those we work with. It is our job to give them the resources and tools they need. They are worthy of our unconditional respect. That’s why we listen to communities.
Determining the poorest countries of the world
It’s not enough to just rank total wealth. There is also the human aspect of poverty. In some countries that are most vulnerable, data can be difficult to find. Furthermore, the gross domestic product (GDP), while a ranking factor, doesn’t take into account all of a country’s wealth. How do we account for exchange rates, even if we can find a common metric?
The International Monetary Fund (World Bank) and the Central Intelligence Agency rank countries based on their per-capita gross domestic product (Per-Capita GDP). These lists may differ slightly depending on the variables involved. We are also ranking countries by their GDP, which means that we rank them by the country’s production versus its income.
We will be focusing on Gross National Income (GNI) for the purposes of this ranking. We will also refer to the Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme. This not only ranks countries by their GNI but also their expected years of education, mean years of education, and their human development index (HDI).
In light of all this, here are the Top 10 Poorest Countries in The World, ranked in ascending order.
Here is a compiled list of the Top 10 Poorest Countries in The World:
Mozambique, a country rich with natural resources, has made tremendous strides to become one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. The country is still recovering from the 16-year civil conflict that began in 1975 when it was independent of Portugal and ended in 1992. According to the 2018 UN Human Development Report, there is a per capita gross national income (GNI), of $1,093, and a life expectancy of 58.9. The World Bank’s 2014 most recent estimates show that 46% of Mozambicans are below the poverty line. Although it is expected that citizens will complete 9.7 school years, the average number of years spent in school is only 3.5.
Concern worked previously in Mozambique from 1984 to 2017 and returned to the nation in 2019, following the landfalls of two major cyclones (including Cyclone Idai). We are now in an early recovery phase of this emergency response, providing seeds and other inputs to subsistence farmers to replace those whose crops were destroyed by flooding.
Africa’s oldest republic, Liberia suffered from a series of civil wars between 1989 and 2003. Although peace has won, the GNI per capita in Liberia is only $667 and its life expectancy is 63. The West African Ebola epidemic in 2014-16 infected 10,675 Liberians and resulted in the deaths of 4,809. also affected Liberia. The Ebola outbreak had an impact on survivors’ livelihoods. In 2016, the World Bank’s most recent survey estimated that 51% of Liberians live below the poverty line. Although education should last for 10 years, the majority of Liberians have only completed 4.7 years of schooling.
Concern has been working in Liberia for 23 years to alleviate poverty. Concern has been involved in clean water initiatives for the 42.5% of Liberians who do not have access to safe drinking water, nutrition programs for the 35.5% of children who are stunted and initiatives against gender-based violence and malaria.
Mali is the fourth-largest African country. Its capital, Timbuktu, was once a bustling trading post. The country, which gained independence from France in 1960, has a GNI per head of $1,953 as well as a 58.5 life expectancy. The country’s current wars and conflicts mean that the average years of schooling is only 2.3, compared to 7.7 years. According to the World Bank, 41% of the country’s population live below the poverty line as per 2009 data.
7. Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso, a former French colony bordered by Niger (#1) and Mali (#8), is another country that suffered from conflict and coups after its independence in 1960. The country has had to endure drought for 1.5 years, as opposed to the expected 8.5. Burkina Faso has a GNI per head of $1,650 and a 60.8 life expectancy. According to the World Bank, just 40% of the population lives in poverty according to 2014 data.
6. Sierra Leone
A UN peacekeeping mission helped to quell Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war in 2002. Although the country’s economy has been stable, it was among the countries most affected by the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak. According to the World Bank, 2011 data shows that 53% of Sierra Leoneans live below the poverty line. The country has a 52.2-year life expectancy, a GNI per head of $1,240, and a mean schooling age of 3.5 (compared with the 9.8 expected).
Sierra Leone’s civil war was when concern first reached the country. We’ve been there since then for 23 years. Although the Ebola epidemic has ended and the economy has recovered in part thanks to the restart of iron ore mines, the outlook remains challenging. We are focusing on the country’s environmental problems, which are directly connected to potential emergencies such as the 2017 mudslide.
The Republic of Burundi has been in conflict consistently since gaining independence from Belgium in 1962. According to 2014 World Bank data, nearly 65% of the country’s population has lived in poverty since 1994 when civil war broke out. The country’s GNI per head is $702 and its life expectancy is 57.9 years. The average child completes 3 years of schooling. This is against an 11.7-year education.
Since 1997, we have been working in Burundi. Our current focus is on health, nutrition, as well as livelihoods. Concern’s community-based nutrition and health work has proven to be a success, particularly in improving nutrition and overall health for those who are not covered by the national health system. We also place high importance on the health of Burundi’s mothers and children. Burundi is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for having a child. It has 740 deaths per 100,000 live-born babies.
4. ChadChad – BiographyFlash.com
Despite a $4 billion pipeline that links the country’s oil fields to coastline terminals, Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries thanks to poor infrastructure and conflict (most notably from the militant group Boko Haram). Nearly 48% of Chadians are in an economic vulnerability due to ongoing conflict and the impacts of climate change (according to data from World Bank, 2011). The average life expectancy in the country is 53.2 years and its per capita CNI is $1750. The average schooling experience for children is 2.3 years, compared to the 8 expected.
Concern has been working in Chad for 12 years. In the past 2 years, we have increased our efforts in a country already in crisis following additional aggravation that left 4.7 million people in desperate need of humanitarian aid. In response to the humanitarian needs in the Lake Chad region, we are implementing nutrition and health programmes to provide life-saving assistance. Our work in eastern Chad’s Sila region focuses on strengthening community resilience to prevent potential disasters.
3. South Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 but has experienced a long history of conflict, displacement, and deepening humanitarian needs. The World Bank has estimated that 82% of South Sudanese live in extreme poverty as of 2016. Although the mean years spent in school are similar to what is expected (4.8 and 4.9), the average life expectancy is only 57.3 years. The GNI per person is $963. With over 2 million South Sudanese refugees residing abroad and an additional 1.74 million internally displaced, widespread displacement places immense pressure on people’s ability for them to cope.
Concern’s work has been in sync with South Sudan’s development timeline. We provide programming for long-term, resilience, and emergency assistance to meet the country’s growing needs.
2. Central African Republic
It’s not surprising that the world’s poorest country is also the hungriest. In the 2018 Global Hunger Index (GHI), the Central African Republic was the only country with hunger levels classified as “extremely alarming.” The connection between hunger and poverty is apparent here: 2008 estimates from the World Bank suggest 62% of Central Africans are living at or below the poverty line, with the UN indicating a life expectancy of just 52.9 years. With a median of 4.3 years of education completed, the country’s GNI per head is $663. This compares to the expected 7.2.
Since 2013, CAR’s ethnic and sectarian conflict has evolved from a quiet emergency to a complicated humanitarian crisis. Over half of the country’s 4.6 million inhabitants have suffered severe hardships in their daily lives and livelihoods. Over half a million people have fled to neighbouring countries as a result. The conflict has also increased Central Africans in desperate need by 13% since March 2018. It also has one the highest rates of child death in the world.
Concern started livelihoods, food security and sanitation programs in Bangui M’Poko prefectures in mid-2014 to assist those whose lives were disrupted due to violence.
A combination of a GNI per capita of $906, a life expectancy of 60.4 years, and a mean 2 years of schooling (against an expected 5.4) lead to Niger topping the UN’s human development report as the world’s poorest country. According to World Bank data, 44.5% of Nigeria’s 21.5 million population lives in extreme poverty.
Concern has been working in Niger since 1996. It has helped communities overcome many difficult development challenges. These are made worse by migration, climate change and increased population growth. Niger is a country where poverty manifests itself in high levels of food insecurity, diseases such as endemic malaria, and poor sanitation and water access. In the past 20 years, the problems surrounding agriculture have led to hunger and nutritional issues that have adversely affected millions of Nigeriens. In the past 10 years, this has caused three major crises.
Here is a recap of the Top 10 Poorest Countries in The World in 2021.
- Central African Republic
- South Sudan
- Sierra Leone
- Burkina Faso
In 2012, we launched the Integrated Resilience Program with twelve villages and 1000 families. We expanded our Integrated Resilience program to include 17 additional villages in 2014. Now we work with more than 2,600 families to improve access to quality healthcare services and education, food security, nutrition, gender equality, livelihoods, and environmental protection. These are some of the major causes of global poverty.