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Why Don’t We Usually Talk About the Poverty Existing in European and North American Countries?

When you think about poverty and hunger, it is most likely that the country that came to your mind is in Latin America or Africa. However, we tend to forget that these issues are also present in the USA and in some European countries.

Although it includes nations with some of the highest HDI (Human Development Index) in the world, Europe also has regions where poverty and crisis are a major factor. In Eastern Europe, there are many territories that suffer from economic instability. Moldova, for instance, is one of the poorest countries of that region and has a lower HDI than many Latin American countries. According to UNICEF, the poverty rates in this country “although decreasing, remain high, particularly affecting children and households with children, especially in rural areas.”

POVERTY IN THE USA

Besides having the biggest economy in the world, the United States also suffers with poverty rates. Approximately 40 million people live with financial difficulties. Larlecianne Piccoli, a brazilian with a phD in International Strategic Studies, who is currently living in Florida says “The first impression is that poverty does not exist. At a second glance, also because of the pandemic, this topic became more present, especially when we came to Florida.

BRAZIL X USA

She describes the poverty in the USA as being different from the one in Brazil, and from what we are used to. “The social structure here is really complex, for instance, when we talk about hunger it reminds us of malnourished children or an image of someone very thin. What we see here is another dynamic, because the poorest here have a certain access to food, but it is not nutritious, so we see that a lot of this people are obese, since the healthier foods are less affordable, making them more inaccessible, meanwhile junk food and fast food is really cheap. And this brings us to another issue, because the health system in the US is extremely expensive, so keeping people in this condition is more lucrative for the medicine and health industries.

When talking about the United States we tend to have an image of multiple opportunities and a guarantee of a better life. That is why she believes we don’t talk much about those issues and focus only on the good, but Larlecianne states that when you start living there there are many critical parts, such as issues related to poverty, to the lack of access to healthy foods and the small amount of day care centers for children.

We are able to notice that especially the Black American community and immigrants, mainly latinos, are the ones with the most insecurity. And like I said, this was already an issue before the pandemic, and now it only grew.” – says Larlecianne about the profile of those who live in poor conditions. 

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The article above was edited by Larissa Mariano.

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Maria Esther Cortez

Casper Libero '25

Journalism student. Passionate about travelling, music, movies and Shawn Mendes :)
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