Poverty has increased as a result of market reforms required by IMF and World Bank. In order to get new loans, developing nations have had to reduce spending, especially on health, education and development.

The World Bank and other organizations realize that erasing poverty is essential to global security and peace. In this spirit, they call on poor nations to limit population growth. They also encourage rich nations to forgive the debt of poor nations, making more funds available for education, healthcare, and other services.

Although some progress has been made toward reducing poverty, it has been uneven. India, China, and other newly industrialized nations have enjoyed great economic growth, and have fewer people overall living in poverty.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters range from earthquakes, floods, and avalanches to droughts, fires, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions. They strike all over the world, causing death, destruction, and unsanitary conditions that often lead to disease. Although such events may strike anywhere, they often hit developing nations especially hard due to such factors as heavy population concentrations and inadequate building construction.

In 2004, a huge underwater earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a huge tsunami (tsoo NAH mee), or massive tidal wave. It swept over islands and along the coasts of 11 countries ringing the Indian Ocean. More than 160,000 people were killed, mainly in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India. Millions were left homeless or lost their livelihood.

The following year, Hurricane Katrina struck the coastal regions of Louisiana and Mississippi. A 30-foot storm surge and high winds caused a devastating flood in New Orleans and killed more than 1,800 people. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) called Katrina “the single most catastrophic natural disaster and costliest hurricane in U.S. history.”

A local disaster can disrupt the economy of a country and even have a ripple effect on the global economy. When a typhoon destroyed Myanmar's rice producing region, the country faced a threat of famine One benefit of globalization is that news of natural disasters spreads instantly and triggers a quick aid response.

Global Diseases

With millions of people on the move daily, diseases spread rapidly. Globalization, however, has allowed health experts around the world to quickly identify and contain outbreaks of disease. In the early 2000s, air travelers spread SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a respiratory disease, from China to more than two dozen countries. Health officials took quick action to stop the SARS outbreak

A map shows the gross domestic product per capita by country.
Image Long Description

Analyze Maps

This map shows the relative wealth and poverty of nations as determined by the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. What areas of the world have the highest GDP?


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments