SUBMITTED TO: United Nations Development Programme
FROM: Republic of Korea
SUBJECT: Eradication of Poverty
Royal Oak High School
Poverty is an issue that most, if not all, countries struggle with at one time or another. While just about 2% of South Koreans are influenced by poverty, 8.6 percent of the world, or 736 million individuals, live in extraordinary amounts of poverty or live on $1.90 or less a day.
The Korean War of 1950-1953 crushed the nation, slaughtering a great many individuals and scaring those who survived. At the beginning of the war, North Korean fighters poured over the fringe and moved through a large portion of South Korea and, in the aftermath, the economy was demolished and a large number of families were split up and moved apart. Living through this horror scarred the nation, but also allowed for rebirth to take place. Poverty in South Korea has been in extreme decline since the mid-twentieth century, especially the total destitution rate. In the last 50 years, South Korea’s GDP has increased from 2.63 billion to 1.84 trillion. It stands as the 11th wealthiest nation on earth and it the 7th biggest exporting country.
The major question at hand today is whether South Korea affected by poverty if the country is so wealthy – and if so, what actions are being taken to help? Poverty in South Korea today is extremely evident in the population over the age of 65. 48.6% of citizens within this age group suffer from poverty. About 1/4 of them live alone, and high levels of isolation and depression have led to a dramatic rise in elderly suicide, from 34 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 72 per 100,000 in 2010. Anecdotal evidence suggests many decide to take their own lives to avoid becoming a burden to their families. The main reason is that older people struggle to find work.
Though there is no indefinite solution to end poverty, South Korea supports a plan that focuses on the long term outcome, and helpful to all, rather than short term aid. Short term aid is also appreciated, but in the long run, that aid just scratches the surface. To majorly help/assist countries in need, the UN and supporting countries need to send long term food, men, and materials to aid.
The Republic of Korea looks forward to collaborating with all other nations on the current topic and learning from other’s views.
- Republic of Korea
- Allyson Gilliland