Connection Between War and Poverty


Poverty and war have been known to coexist. The occurring of one element leads to the other. From ages, poverty has been noticed in some parts of the world where war is taking place and it has affected the population involved. In third world states, ethnic conflicts has never been left behind, they have been charged to slow economic growth and development, besides, they have contributed to loss of life and destroyed other important infrastructures necessary for making a state self-dependant.

This paper will define war and identify two forms of conflicts that are; Low Intensity Conflict and ethnic conflict. Also, the paper will identify and discuss abuse, isolation, hostility and reliance has some of the causes of conflicts.

Ethnic conflicts in developing countries have increased the level of instability in states where it occurs. The ethnic conflicts can be caused because of various reasons for example resources such as water, minerals, and land among others (Danziger and Haveman 79). The paper will discuss ethnic conflicts and how it has contributed to poverty and tension in developing countries.

In conclusion, the paper summarizes the causes of conflicts and how they have been linked to poverty.


War is defined as a happening or a passionate engagement which is characterized by risk, aggression, adaptation, communal meddling and death (Ellis 213). The objectives of war vary in unanimity with a group’s antagonist in a conflict. Opponents in conflict are referred to as enemies. The terms used in war such as militant, military and militarisms are referred to as the systematized group, aggressive individual and loyal attitude.

Forms of conflicts

Various forms of conflicts exist in our world today. Many countries have adopted different strategies to further war interests around the world. The first form of war conflict is Low Intensity Conflict (Davis 136). Low Intensity Conflict is a low-level of aggressions or the use of military intercession that fall short of a full-scale general or conventional war.

It entails antiterrorism, diplomacy, alien support to countries for internal protection, commando actions, help to foreign law execution organizations and serenity of international treaty responsibilities (Davis 156).

Besides, an Ethnic conflict is another form of conflict that occurs in a country which has diverse ethnic groups. Groups which are involved in Ethnic conflicts do so to strengthen their dominancy among other groups. An ethnic conflict began to exist during the cold war and has contributed to war and other crimes in the world like the case of Rwanda genocide of 1994 (Davis 163).

Causes of conflict

Research carried out by D’Anieri remarked “region and violent delinquency” in poor Chicago, was centered on race and class isolation. D’Anieri (116) noted how race and class isolation influence “common effectiveness” or social edifice among the neighbors. D’Anieri (123) found out that manipulation, hostility and reliance produced by resource shortage epitomized as a centrifugal potency that impasses common effectiveness. When resources are rare, it brings out a reason called “concerted damage”; this reason provides a strong to exhibition of ferocity. The study carried out by D’Anieri was built on class and race problems within the American culture, which because of democratic belief, may persuade a person moods of hostility and abuse (D’Anieri 126).

This may confines the study’s worth in probing the effect of poverty and conflicts in poor states. However, abuse, hostility and reliance are solid issues involved. They simplify dogmatic and social anxiety in poor countries and among the rich and poor states exclusively in present-day information era when monetary and social differences are common (D’Anieri 133).

Administrations in poor countries and sponsor organizations supplement their expansion programs are feeling compelling power offered by D’Anieri (D’Anieri 137). The report entitled “commission on Global Governance” known as “concerted weakness” was mentioned by D’Anieri when it said that complete poverty offers a rare foundation for preserving the customary civilization and expansion of involvement in public life and supremacy. Risky and poverty inequality of revenue fuel both greed and remorseful when presented to wider audience therefore this leads to conflicts.

Further, the report of the world bank entitled “ breaking the conflict trap” spells out that an identical delivery of assets exuberates collective rigidity and surges the sensitivity of comparative shortage that report further hints to clear objections and possible conflict. While the report was only based on spread of assets within a country the exerting opening between revenue in rich countries and poor states also surges the sensitivity of comparative shortage and has a tangible suggestion for universal supremacy (Ellis 135).

Besides, Haye (275) points out the report primed by University of Maryland entitled “State Failure”; for US intelligent community studied the link that exists among many growth elements and failure of state organizations. These failures related the sturdiest causes such as delicate egalitarian organizations, infant transience and addiction on imports (Haye 278). These elements underwrites to “enthralling potency that impasses common effectiveness. Unquestionably, parents feel depressed when children’s die of illness they know can be barred or cured in technologically advanced countries (Haye 284).

Delicate democracies that offer collective suffrage, but lacks influential ability to handle collective anxiety are disposed to flop. An economy that is weak and can’t support in producing goods and services in a country and relies on the imports gives an avenue of asset spread. The reports sums up that almost, the most outstanding form is that civilian wars is accredited to most emerging nations. This is the cause of conflict is because of failure to embrace monetary growth (Nafziger 233)

Situating poverty may not be satisfactory by itself to root prevalent conflict, but the studies shows that poverty backs the sense of abuse, hostility and reliance. The feelings builds and translates to collapse of collective solidity and results into intense conflict (Nafziger 236).

Countries that are susceptible to occurrence own tolerable level of collective solidity first. Most have great administrative structures and frail legitimate framework. Their poor people are obliged to live and toil outside the permissible arrangements of their civilization (Nafziger 243). This hints to an unlawful atmosphere that include other aspects of shortage such as insecurity, food, ecological ruin, unstrained urban population evolution, illnesses, resentment and anxiety.

Water resource

Population surge coupled with uneconomic water supervision resource is one of the influential reasons urging tensions among certain states that commonly share water source (Brainard 69). The dispute has not been the quantity of hygienic and drinking water, but enough water to satisfy agricultural production. It is started that averagely a health person needs about two liters of clean drinking water daily. But, a thousand liters are a essential to efficiently withstand subsistence agricultural farming. Latent conflicts arise because of water for agricultural growth (Brainard 76). Agriculture is a compulsory for any country to gain cost-effective and social firmness. However, if anxiety is granted on water resource and circulation, it would bring disastrous effects both biologically and politically.

Simler (126) points out that a management group on “International Agriculture Research” expects that if the tendency of water shortage continues to triumph, world population will be affected. The situation will be worse in Africa because most people will not have accessibility to safe and clean water for consumption. So, lack of water will impact on food production leading to famine and political turbulence. It would provide an opportunity for disastrous war for water privileges especially in developing countries in Africa and spreading exponentially to neighboring states (Brainard 86).

Water resource not only is a major causative reason in developing countries in Africa, but Middle East countries will also be affected as well. For example, River Nile has been a source of livelihoods for over 10 countries. The source of River Nile is in Egypt. The agreement signed earlier has given Egypt and Sudan special rights about the ownership of River Nile (Danziger and Haveman 97). The agreement has compelled the other eight countries to drive for fair sharing of privileges so they can effectively benefit from this vital resource. However, Egypt and Sudan have been unwilling to accept cooperation with these countries. However, the population of Nile basin is expected to double. The political and population tension resulting on River Nile is definite route for conflict in the region (Simler 133).

Ethnic wars

Ethnicity is varied in most developing countries. Simler (79) explains that ethnicity backs economic show of any developing countries. Besides, ethnicity has contributed to civil unrests in many parts of developing world such as in Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda and other sub-Saharan countries (Simler 89).

This has extended distress that ethnic cleavage and conforming connections of faith and race may weaken projections for economic and dogmatic progress in Africa. Ethnic multiplicity may surge civil conflict; the observation is raised by scenes of interethnic strength and connection. Africa has the premier ethnic multiplicity which contributes to greater instances of civil conflict (Simler 98).

This justification leads to unfavorable economic effects of diversity. Ethnic conflicts are becoming an increasing reason in contributing to poverty rates in Africa and other developing countries (Simler 109). For example, in Kenya, ethnic tensions linked to multiparty poll lead to loss of 1600 people in 1991 -93. Thus, more death was reported in 1997 during the election and more recently, in 2007, more ethnic wars occurred during the presidential elections which left more than 1500 people dead. However, in South Africa, more than 14000 people died because of racial and ethnic violence in 1990-94.Several other forms of ethnic conflict have been witnessed in Sudan between the Arab Muslims in the North and non-Arab Christians in the south (Danziger and Haveman 109).


In conclusion, the paper examined causes of conflicts such as isolation, hostility, water resources and reliance among other causes. These causes emanates because of incapacity of states or people in charge to have alternative means to aid the population under its care because of poor and unstructured economic systems they have founded.

Measures to contain poverty and strengthen community cohesions can contribute to effective way of preventing conflicts by promoting harmony and peace.

Works Cited

Brainard, Lael. The Other War: Global Poverty And The Millennium Challenge Account. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution Press, 2003.

Davis, John. Africa and the War on Terrorism. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007.

Danziger, Sheldon and Haveman, Robert H. Understanding Poverty.Massachuttes: Harvard University Press, 2001.

D’Anieri, Paul. International Politics: Power and Purpose in Global Affairs. Michigan: Cengage Learning, 2009.

Ellis, Sylvia. Britain, America, and the Vietnam War. California: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.

Haye, Eve La. War Crimes in Internal Armed Conflicts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Nafziger, E., Wayne. Economic Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Simler, Kenneth. Rebuilding after War: Micro-Level Determinants of Poverty Reduction in Mozambique. Washington, D.C: Intl Food Policy Res Inst, 2004.

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