For most of us life is very easy , we do not at least have to think about food , clothes , roof etc. on every other day . Things like Fan or A.C. , a permanent house , a bike or car , beautiful clothes , personal safety and security etc . are like our birth rights, which no one can take away from us .
But in many poor countries of the world (most of which belong to Africa), all these basic amenities and facilities are like some distant dreams for a large part of the population.
People living here have to struggle constantly with things like shortage of food and water , lack of medical facilities , poor or no education , high rates of unemployment , threat to personal security , fear of widespread violence , high level of discrimination with women and many other problems that we can not even feel and understand to the level of brutal depths of reality .
Life is full of challenges and uncertainity in the world’s poorest country Central African Republic .
Central African republic is one such nation , where life is not a pleasant journey for a large no. of people . According to reports of International Monetary Fund and United nations , this country had lowest per capita income in 2015 and 2nd lowest Human Development Index in the world .
Let’s try to understand the life of people living in C.A.R. by looking at its condition in different fields , which are responsible for a nation’s progress or backwardness :-
1 ) Population :- Central African republic has a population of 4.2 million people and its population density is only 7.1 / km square . It means that high population density is not a problem for this country like many South Asian countries .
2 ) Natural Reserves :- C.A.R. has very high amount of reserves of natural resources like gold , cobalt , uranium , crude oil , diamonds , hydropower etc. but they remain largely un-utilized , due to lack of technology and infrastructure. It also has sufficient amount of arable land to do agriculture .
3 ) Ease of doing business :- Due to poor infrastructure , poor law and order and overall lack of environment for doing business , it constantly remains in the bottom three countries in the world bank’s report of “Ease of doing business” .
4 ) Per capita income :- Its per capita income in 2016 is $ 376 , which is lowest in the world .
5 ) Inequality level :- Richest 10% of the country have an average income equal to 69.2 times of the average income of poorest 10% . This combination of low per capita income and high income inequality shows that a common citizen earns only few 100 dollars in an year in C.A.R.
6) Poverty rate :- More than half of the country live below the poverty line decided by world bank . As per some earlier estimates , 66 % people of C.A.R. earned less than $ 1.9 a day in 2008 ( as per purchasing power parity index ).
7 ) Unemployment :- A very large part of the population remains engaged in extremely low paying jobs (earning only few hundred dollars in an year) or in subsistence agriculture where there is little scope of making money good enough to raise their standard of life .
8 ) Health :- As per CIA estimates average life expectancy in C.A.R. in 2014 was only 51.8 years and it has 4th highest maternal mortality rate in the world . There was only 1 physician on 20,000 people in 2009 , and things have not changed much after 2009 .
9 ) Education :- Public education is free in C.A.R. and education is compulsory from the age of 6 to 14 years . Still , as per reports of UNESCO , literacy rate of C.A.R. in 2015 was only 36.8% , one of the lowest in the world .
10 ) Crime :- According to United nations’ reports , Murder rate in C.A.R. in 2012 was 13.6 per 100,000 people , which brings it in the category of highly violent countries . Even Somalia (5.6) and Burundi (4.2) have lot better situation in this case . One of the major reasons behind such a high murder rate are regularly occurring incidents of ethnic and communal violence among local people .
Political instability and widespread violence among ethnic groups are among the major reasons for C.A.R.’s backwardness .
11 ) Corruption :- Central African Republic is the 23rd most corrupt country of the world , as per reports of prominent international organization Transparency International , published in 2015 . Corruption has kept C.A.R. away from tasting the fruits of Modern technology , highly interconnected business world , and a growing world economy .
State of Central African republic’s progress in different fields as mentioned above , makes it very clear that like most of other countries , poverty of C.A.R. is not a cause of problems of the country ; but , it is a result of the poor social , economic and administrative environment prevailing in it .