Essay on “Poverty, its Causes, Effects and Suggestions” for CSS, PMS, and other Examinations

This is an essay on “Poverty, its Causes, Effects and Suggestions” for CSS, PMS, and other Examinations. Poverty is the root cause of many other social evils. Poverty may include social, economic, and political, and sometimes international elements. In this essay, I will also discuss Poverty, its Causes, Effects, and Suggestions to eliminate poverty from our society.


What is poverty?
Poverty in Pakistan
Causes of Poverty in Pakistan

  • Feudalism
  • Low education budget
  • Corrupt politicians and successive martial laws
  • Lack of planning
  • Social problems
  • Corruption
  • Increasing population
  • Economic loss
  • Lack of access to basic services

Effects of Poverty

  • Child labour
  • Crimes and violence
  • Health issues
  • Substandard of life
  • Social evils

Suggestions to Eliminate Poverty

  • Abolish feudalism
  • Increase education budget
  • Quality education
  • Providing the basic facility of life
  • Technical education
  • Eliminate corruption
  • Good governance
  • Effective planning of the government
  • Controlling population
  • Higher economic growth


Complete Essay on “Poverty, its Causes, Effects and Suggestions” for CSS, PMS, and All other Examinations

“Poor and content is rich and rich enough.William Shakespeare

“Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.Muhammad Ali

“The mother of revolution and crime is poverty. “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” Aristotle

“Wealth and poverty: the one is the parent of luxury and indolence, and the other of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.Plato

What is poverty?

Poverty is a global phenomenon that expresses pronounced deprivation in the well-being of people. It exists where people are deprived of the means to satisfy their basic needs that are mandatory to their survival Poverty breeds unbridled crimes and moral degradation, frustration and bribery, malnutrition and infectious diseases so on and so forth. Thus aspirations of the deprived people never materialize throughout their lives and their sufferings end with their deaths while the rich led luxurious lives and enjoy every kind of facility.

There are many definitions of poverty depending on the context of the situation and the views of the person giving the definition. These are some from various sources including a well-known development scholar. Poverty is also often divided into relative poverty and absolute poverty. Poverty can also be defined as a condition wherein a person cannot satisfy his or her basic needs, namely, food, shelter, clothing, health, and education.

“Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.”World Bank

“Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means a lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness, and exclusion of individuals, households, and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation. “United Nations

Poverty in Pakistan

Poverty is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services. It includes a lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods; hunger and malnutrition; ill health; limited or lack of access to education and other basic services; increased morbidity and mortality from illness; homelessness and inadequate housing; unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. 

It is also characterized by a lack of participation in decision-making and in civil, social, and cultural life. It occurs in all countries: as mass poverty in many developing countries, pockets of poverty amid wealth in developed countries, loss of livelihoods as a result of economic recession, sudden poverty as a result of disaster or conflict, the poverty of low-wage workers, and the utter destitution of people who fall outside family support systems, social institutions, and safety nets. 

To know what helps to reduce poverty, what works and what does not, what changes over time, poverty has to be defined, measured, and studied – and even experienced. As poverty has many dimensions, it has to be looked at through a variety of indicators – levels of income and consumption, social indicators, and indicators of vulnerability to risks and of socio/political access.

Pakistan is a poor country. Its economy is facing fluctuations now a day. At the time of independence, Pakistan has very low resources and capital, so the processes of progress were very slow. Unfortunately, the politicians of Pakistan were all not well aware of the modem global system and the progress processes, and the needs of the country. Due to bad policies today Pakistan is facing a lot of problems. The continuous failure of policies leads the people of the country to miserable conditions. The major problem in the country is poverty which is becoming the cause of crime and social disorder. 

It is difficult to point out all causes of poverty in Pakistan but the major causes are given below:

Causes of Poverty in Pakistan

Pakistan is home to a large feudal landholding system where landholding families hold thousands of acres and do little Work on agriculture themselves. They enlist the services of their serfs to perform the labor of the land. 51% of poor tenants owe money to the landlords. The landlords’ position of power allows them to exploit the only resource the poor can possibly provide by using their own labor. Feudal Lords hold 70-80 % of our total land.

The literacy rate of Pakistan is very low. The reason is that Pakistan just spends 2.1 % of GDP on education Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015. Most people do not have any concept about the modem earning sources. Most people are unable to adopt technology for their business needs, that’s why businesses do not meet international standards and resulting in a decrease in revenue which leads the society to poor financial conditions.

Pakistan has been run by military dictatorships for large periods of time, alternating with limited democracy. These rapid changes in governments led to rapid policy changes and reversals and the reduction of transparency and accountability in government. The onset of military regimes has contributed to non-transparency in resource allocation. In particular, the neglect by the Pakistani state of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has rendered the region poverty-stricken.

Those who do not constitute the political elite are unable to make political leaders and the Government responsive to their needs or accountable to promises. Development priorities are determined not by potential beneficiaries but by the bureaucracy and a political elite that may or may not be in touch with the needs of the citizens. Political instability and macroeconomic imbalances have been reflected in poor creditworthiness ratings, even compared to other countries of similar income levels, with resulting capital flight and lower foreign direct investment inflows.

Government is not well aware of the present conditions of the country. The policies of government are based on the suggestions of officials who do not have awareness about the problems of a common man. After implementation, the policies do not get effective results. After the failure of one policy, the government does not consider its failure and announces another policy without studying the aftermaths of the last one. Heavy taxes and unemployment crushes the people and they are forced to live below the poverty line. Suitable medical facilities are not provided to people and they are forced to get treatment for private clinics which are too costly.

Poverty and the lack of a modem curriculum have proved destabilizing factors for Pakistani society that have been exploited by militant organizations banned by the government to run schools and produce militant literature. Though many madrassas are benign, there are those that subscribe to the radical branches of Sunni Islam. As a result, militant Islamic political parties have become more powerful in Pakistan and have considerable sympathy among the poor. This phenomenon is more pronounced in KPK.

Another cause of poverty is corruption. There are two types of corruption. There is no morality and everyone is trying to earn more and more by using fair and unfair means. Officials waste their time has low efficiency. Only one relationship that exists in society is money. One has to pay a heavy cost to get his right. Law and order conditions are out of control and institutions are failed to provide justice to the common man. Justice can be bought by money only. But the government is unable to control such types of things. In this whole scenario, some corrupt people have been occupying the resources and the common man is living in miserable conditions.

In our society, social bonding is gradually becoming thinner and thinner. A race of material objects has been started even no one tried to understand the problems of others. Everyone is gradually changing from a human to a bio man which only knows about his needs and has no concept about the limitations of others. People are not ready to help each other. At last, everyone has lost his trust in others which affects our social and economic system and it is another cause of poverty.

The import of Pakistan is greater than export. Big revenue is consumed in importing goods every year, even raw material has to import for the industry. If we decrease imports and establish our own supply chains from our country’s natural resources the people will have better opportunities to earn. The foreign investor comes to local markets. They invest millions of dollars in stock markets and the stock market gets a rise in the index. Then the investor withdraws his money with profit and the market suddenly collapses. The poor people always faced aftermaths.

In addition, Pakistan’s major cities and urban centers are home to an estimated 1.2 million street children. This includes beggars and scavengers who are often very young. The law and order problem worsens their condition as boys and girls are fair game to others who would force them into stealing, scavenging, and smuggling to survive. A large proportion consumes readily available solvents to stave off hunger, loneliness, and fear. Children are vulnerable to contracting STDs such as HIV/AIDS, as well as other diseases.

The incidence of rural poverty is highest among those who own no land-more than one-half of the rural population. Inequity in land ownership in Pakistan is responsible for agricultural yields
which are below those of other countries at similar income levels. Female-headed households, tribal groups, and those living at or below the subsistence level are particularly vulnerable. Poverty rates also vary significantly among provinces, from a low of  16 percent in the northeastern areas to 44 percent in KPK Province.

Following are the effects of poverty in Pakistan:

Effects of Poverty

The first and most immediate effect of poverty in Pakistani society is that people do not send their children to schools. In Pakistan, nearly 4 million children 5-14 years of age group (Federal Bureau of Statistics) work.

The poverty of his formative years in the underground mines, the work is very dangerous places to work at cement industry, tobacco production, processing, and more with live electrical failure could force the dissolved

Direct impact on poverty, crime, and violence in Pakistan. Human Trafficking of the most common form of (violent) prostitution, which is run mostly by poverty. According to the survey, poor men are involved in violence against his wife for the purposes of income. Women selling their bodies to their family members are forced to earn something.

Poor people are suffering from many diseases. They do not care about enough resources. Pakistan ranks 135th out of 194 countries for this reason that the life expectancy at birth of the index. In Pakistan, the life expectancy rate at birth is 65 years or less. Where the Westen countries it is 80 + years as Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, etc.

Following are the suggestions to overcome poverty:

Suggestions to Eliminate Poverty

The biggest developmental challenge facing Pakistan is how to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of bringing down the incidence of poverty from the current level of poverty 37% to 18% by 2015. Whereas, our experience so far shows that it is easy to relapse into a higher incidence of poverty but it is quite an uphill battle to recover the lost ground.

However, alleviating poverty may be difficult but by no means it is impossible. Because, it is man-made and not natural like slavery and apartheid, therefore, it can be Overcome and eradicated. The need is not for one or two isolated policies but for a comprehensive package of complementary and supportive policies to tackle the problem. Building a more widespread commitment to overcoming poverty is an essential first step in overcoming poverty, and some of the actions are addressed in the following paragraphs.

A policy or a set of policies should be designed to ensure economic growth in the country because higher economic growth rates and poverty reduction are strongly correlated. However, growth is necessary but a sufficient condition for poverty reduction. Growth has to be accompanied by many other essential policy measures.

Feudalism should be abolished to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens of Pakistan. For that, effective land reforms on the pattern of Indian land reforms taken after dependence can bring fruit and relief to our pierced society.

A policy or a set of policies should be designed to ensure economic growth in the country because higher economic growth rates and poverty reduction are strongly correlated. However, growth is necessary but a sufficient condition for poverty reduction. Growth has to be accompanied by many other essential policy measures.

If government aims to reduce widespread poverty via a sustainable growth accelerating strategy, it must focus fundamentally on providing access to quality education to the children of poor families. To provide schooling to this large pool of out-of-school children, spending on basic education should be gradually increased from the lowest in the south Asian region around 2% of GDP to at least 4% of GDP during the next three years.

Similarly, the absenteeism of teachers should be overcome through strict monitoring and supervision and introducing accountability in the system. However, in view of the paucity of government funds, and acknowledged weaknesses in the implementation of development programs, the government could also look to facilitating and strengthening the non-profit organizations in the private sector, to complement the public sector programs, to maximize the provision of quality education to the children from poor families.

It would not be wrong to say that Pakistan’s socio-economic development has been a victim of corruption and corrupt practices. Corruption, both in government and business has placed heavy costs on Pakistani society and there is a need to follow fair, transparent, and follow moral and ethical codes of conduct banning corruption in both, public and private sectors. If Pakistan’s government and its policymakers are determined to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with regards to poverty alleviation then such resolve with a high degree of commitment needs to be reiterated by the Parliament in respect of the Benazir Income Support and other poverty alleviation programs.

Government should take some strong measures for human development programs like education, health, employment opportunities, sanitation, nutrition, and population, etc.

Government has to establish technical and vocational training centers whereby our youth get some practical training and may be able to find jobs for themselves. For the expansion of education, the government should assist the private sector and nonprofit organizations.

Another important element of the strategy is to improve the living standard of the masses and to modify the equal distribution of income to the grass-root level. The government has discouraged the formation of microfinance institutions for those who are landless and without any tangible assets. The weak and vulnerable segment of the society has to b; supported by social safety nets and transfers such as zakat and bait-ul-maal etc.

It would be appropriate to say that the mother root cause of all the causes of poverty in Pakistan is poor governance in the public and corporate sectors both. Shortsighted policies and wrong priorities have led to the menace of poverty like a spiral growth. Unless institutional efficiency is enhanced and the participation of communities ensured, past experience indicates that public resources will continue to be mismanaged.

Before making any new allocation or throwing away money in new ventures in the name of poverty alleviation, there is a dire need that we must identify different target sectors under various categories such as human development, community services, rural development, safety nets, and governance on the basis of any objective assessment without any political or party/ government affiliations. Government must fulfill its obligation of spending at least 4.5% of the GDP on pro-poor sectors.

A well-thought-out set of policies should be designed to correct market disequilibrium. Correcting distorted prices should contribute to productive efficiency, employment opportunities, and less poverty.

There is a dire need to have a fresh insight on our policies and programs controlling international trade, population growth, agriculture, and energy sector reforms and readjust our fiscal and monitory policies accordingly.


To sum up, poverty in Pakistan can only be alleviated by sharpening the human capital by improving literacy and investing in skill development, good governance, community empowerment, long-term economic growth, socio-political justice, and real term democratic culture. It cannot be expected for everything to be fixed overnight. It is very important though to establish goals and set up priorities. What is needed most is a stable democratic government, basic essentials for all, access to proper education and healthcare, and social justice for all in the stable social order.

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