Poverty is the root of all evil

Poverty as the root of all evil

Washington - The Worldwatch Institute in Washington believes that poverty is the root of all evil in the world and threatens international stability. The institute fears that the fight against poverty will be neglected due to the global economic downturn and the sums needed to rebuild Iraq. That said Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin in Washington at the presentation of the study "Vital Signs" on Thursday.

"The human tragedies hidden behind the statistics are a reminder that social and environmental progress is not a luxury that can be left aside when there are economic or political problems," said Flavin.

Failed in the fight against poverty

The international community has so far failed to fight poverty, said Michael Renner, one of the authors of the Worldwatch study. Today this contributes to global instability in the form of terrorism, wars and contagious diseases. "An unstable world not only prolongs poverty, it will eventually threaten the prosperity to which a wealthy minority has become accustomed."

The World Bank has just come to the same conclusion. Contrary to popular belief, civil wars were seldom the result of ethnic tensions and political feuds, the Development Bank found last week. Much more often, poverty and the heavy dependency on the export of natural resources are the triggers of the conflicts.


Around 13 million children are orphaned or half-orphaned each year because one parent dies of AIDS, wrote the Worldwatch Institute. 14.4 million people die of infectious diseases, twice as many as die from cancer. The institute calls for the greatest efforts to implement the UN Millennium Goals, which aim to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

The institute, which carried out the study together with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), wrote that environmental damage caused by climate change and deforestation mostly hit the poor. "It is practically impossible to create lasting peace and stability if the massive inequalities in the world persist and the natural systems on which we live are threatened," warned UNEP Director Klaus Töpfer. (APA / dpa)