CASE STUDIES

Development – Bangledesh and Poorest Countries in the EU and Sri Lanka

Development – Bangledesh and Poorest Countries in the EU and Sri Lanka

Bangladesh

PLAN international is a multinational charity which fights to alleviate poverty across the world. In Bangladesh PLAN focuses on child protection and participation; community learning; community-managed health and economic security.

PLAN helps to educate pregnant women in Bangladesh about having regular check-ups to ensure they have healthy children. According to the charity, ‘Maternal mortality has declined as much as 40%. In 2001 only 9% of mothers gave birth at proper medical facilities, but by 2010 that figure was 23%.’

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How do the poorest countries in the European Union (EU) receive support for development?

In recent years the European Union (EU) has expanded to include countries from the former Eastern Bloc which are much poorer than those in the West. In order to redress the balance the EU has adopted a number of strategies, including taking more money from the richer nations and giving it to poorer ones.

EU membership can have a dramatic impact on a nation’s fortunes. Until relatively recently Ireland was one of the poorest places in Europe; until the current financial crisis it was one of the richest. If we compare Ireland with one of the newer EU members, Bulgaria, we see that Ireland is 7th in the world HDI; Bulgaria is 55th. There are many reasons for this, but the fact that Ireland has been part of the EU for much longer has made a difference.

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Case study: Sri Lanka

On Boxing Day 2004 an earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean caused a tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people as far apart as Africa and Indonesia. Of these, at least 30,000 died in Sri Lanka, a developing nation. The wave slammed into the Eastern coast, destroying all in its wake. At some places the wave reached 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) inland.

The effects of the tsunami are still being felt. One and a half million people were made homeless and had to move to other areas of the country. Huge swathes of farmland and forest were destroyed. Thousands of people were made ill by air- and water-borne diseases, including cholera.

Hundreds of paddy fields – used to grow rice – were either washed away or ruined by sea water, causing great hunger. Roads, railway lines, schools, hospitals and tourist resorts were also affected. Sri Lanka will be counting the cost for decades to come.