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Problems of the Third World

Where humanity is faced with the problem of its survival due to atomic weapons, it is also faced with innumerable other problems as well. For instance, at present 2.3 billion human beings are starving and are not getting enough food, in addition about 860 million people are illiterate and cannot effectively contribute towards development. Similarly, more than l.6 billion people in the world are homeless and do not have a proper place to live. They spend their life in tents and on footpaths, they do not have any social status and are considered as third rate citizens. It is estimated that 10.3 billion people do not have enough income and are facing poverty. Their expenditure is far more than their income which deprives them to enjoy the comforts of life.
Although developed countries are spending trillions of dollars on producing latest weapons every year but they are not paying due attention towards these problems. This is probably due to the reason that most of these problems are faced by poor countries as such they do not take interest in solving th?se problems. They only sympathise with these countries verbally. On the contrary, developed countries are using developing countries for their political, economic and military purposes but are not prepared to do anything for their betterment, they give them financial aid but as a loan to be repaid with interest. This attitude of developed countries gave birth to the idea of a Third World which practically exists today. After the First World War, only 36 countries were independent in the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America and all other areas were the colonies of the European colonial powers. In the first decade of 1930, extraordinary increases in the military power of Germany and Italy and aggressive policies of Hitler and Massolini diverted the attention of European colonial powers from their colonies and started planning to stop the increasing military power of Germany and Italy. This resulted in the movements for independence in the colonies. Second World War started in 1940 and Germany occupied Poland and France in a flash and her victories started increasing every day. On the other hand, Japan made gains during the war against Great Britain and her allies. This gave an idea of independence to the subdued nations. This war reduced the military power of France and Great Britain. Great Britain in particular whose kingdom spread over the entire world was reduced to a small European power. Various movements for independence in different parts of the world gained momentum as a result of this war and after five years of the War, 126 countries became independent in Africa, Asia and Latin America which are now known as the “Third World Countries”.
Third World countries are occupying 2/3rd of the earth with a population of over 30 billion which is 2/3rd of the entire population of the world. Percentage of the growth in population of these countries is much more than the developed countries. This is why after every 25 years, this population becomes double whereas resources and production do not increase with the same ratio. Third world countries are, therefore, faced with financial and economic problems and have to depend on foreign sources. Third world countries are rich in mineral resources. For instance, 79.4% of the oil resources of the world are in Asia, Africa and Latin America, 50% of Natural Gas, Zinc, Copper, Nickel, Tin, Aluminium etc. are found in Third World countries.Most of the Third World countries were colonies of western colonial powers prior to Second World War western powers, therefore, instead of developing the industry and economy of these countries used their natural resources and manpower for their own economic stability and expansionist policies. As a result, the people of these countries faced the problems of illiteracy, poverty, economic instability, lack of resources, political instability, lack of self-confidence, depending on foreign resources and backwardness in industry. Colonial powers granted independence to these countries only when they had used their mineral and natural resources to the maximum. In addition, they have intentionally kept such border and political disputes and differences which are becoming a source of permanent enmity between the countries. That is why after the Second World War most of the wars have been fought between the countries of the Third World and colonial powers supplied weapons to the parties to flare up the situation. For instance, three wars have been fought between India and Pakistan in 1948, 1965 and 1971. Kashmir dispute was the main cause of these wars. Similarly, three wars were fought between Arabs and Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973. America and Russia supplied weapons to Israel and Arabs, respectively. Palestine issue was the cause of these wars. A war between China and India broke out in 1962 in which India was defeated. Both U.S.A and U.S.S.R. helped India in this war. Laddakh and Aksai Chin disputes were the main cause of this war.A war between Iran and Iraq in which hundreds and thousands human were killed and trillions of dollars were spent. Both these countries were involved in an aimless war. Shatt-ul-Arab was the main cause of this war between Iran and Iraq. Both the world powers were supplying weapons to these countries directly or indirectly and earning huge amounts. Afghan Mujahideen fought a war against Russian, colonialism and expansionist policy. Russian army entered Afghanistan for Socialist revolution was the root cause of this war. Russia helped Afghan government whereas America helped Mujahideen. America imposed wars on Afghanistan and Iraq on baseless grounds.
Border disputes have been gifted by their old masters to the Third World countries and it has made their future insecure. They have to spend 60% of their national budget on defence requirements. Repayment of foreign loans is the main problem of the Third World. Their national economy is unstable due to these loans. Burden of loans on the Third World was the result of western capitalists plan to establish capitalism against socialism and communism. With this plan in view, western countries planned to give their surplus money as loans to Third World with heavy interest. During the period 1950-1973, western countries issued 2.23 trillion dollars as loan to different countries of the Third World. Out of which 46% loan was from the USA alone. Up to 1973, loan was given only by western countries to the Third World but extraordinary rise in oil prices changed the situation in 1973 and Arab countries in particular also started giving loans to poor countries reducing the monopoly of western countries. Rich countries gave loans to poor countries first to use their surplus amount in a safer way and second to receive heavy interests during the specified period.
How much loan is payable by the Third World and how much interest they pay on that loan can be judged from the fact that up to the end of 1985, Third World countries were to repay 100 billion dollars loan. These loans were paid through World Bank and half of these loans were of American banks. Bulk of this loan is due from the countries of Latin America and a comparatively lesser amount is due from Asian countries. Asian countries have to pay trillions of dollars. This is probably due to the reason that Asian countries are selective of the countries from whom loan should be taken and they obtain loans at government level on easy terms and conditions rather than taking loans from commercial banks, 85% of their loans are long term as much they have to spend only 10% income of their exports for the repayment of these loans. I think that if the amount paid as interest is spent on health, financial institutions, education, population planning sectors, solve the economic crisis, then all problems of Third World countries can be solved forever but the first world have the monopoly on the economy of Third World countries and as such they control the future of the people. That is why Third World countries cannot formulate policies according to their will. The aim of getting foreign loans by developing countries is to complete their development programmes, speed up their industrialization, and eliminate poverty and unemployment. These countries take loans for their major national programmes which cannot be completed from their own resources but a study of the last 40 years reveals that foreign loans have not played any part in stabilising the economy of these countries. Third World is backward even today in spite of having loans worth trillions of dollars. Poverty, hunger, un-education, sickness and political instability are their major problems. Foreign loans have increased their dependency on foreign sources and have created political and economic instability so much so that they cannot formulate their independent economic policies and interference of foreign powers in their internal affairs has become a routine. Developed countries do not sanction loans for those projects which might raise the living standard of the developing countries and ultimately be in a position to become a developed country. They also do not sanction loans for the projects which may prove harmful to their own trade and industry. They analyse the pros and cons before sanctioning these loans. That is why problems in the Third World have increased instead of decreasing. In spite of loans worth trillions of dollars, Third World countries are far behind the developed countries in the field of education, science, economics, technology and armaments. Forty years ago, Third World countries used to export their raw material to developed countries because they were their colonies but in spite of getting independence, they are still exporting their raw material at a nominal price. South Asian countries carry out 60% of their trade with rich industrialised countries whereas their mutual trade is only 17%. Negative effect of foreign loans is the economic and political pressure and monopoly of the developed countries. Developed countries also use these loans as a weapon for achieving their political aims and put pressure on the developing country.
World Bank and IMF put pressure on developing countries to revise the rate of taxes and increase the rates of electricity, gas, water, sanitation, food, telecommunications, oil, petroleum etc. and money thus received should be used for replacement of loans and interests. This is the reason that rates of taxes are frequently revised by Third World countries and the public has to bear the burden. Third World countries are against partial and unparalleled policies but they are not in a position to do anything practically.

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