The Great Divide: Technological Growth and the Increasing Gap between Rich and Poor Nations

By Kristin Klinger on Aug 1, 2010

Originally published in the WFCF Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 2, August 2010

Technology is a force that brings innovation and affluence to those that have access and the resources to utilize it. However, for populations around the world lacking technology, the gap of the have’s and have not’s is deafeningly clear and carries with it serious repercussions to the people of less fortunate regions. With poverty as a worldwide concern, particularly with the fragile state of the global economy, technology has been sought out as an answer to provide solutions. Contrastingly, the costs to those who cannot obtain technology appear to be surmounting continuously as poverty spreads and technology that could improve the overall ecology of these regions remains out of reach.

As governments of the developed world work toward further advancements in resources like energy, agriculture and software to solve problems, the problems in areas without technology exponentially increase.

With 19% of the world’s population accounting for 91% of Internet users, it is clear that a tool that has become standard in North America and Western Europe eludes most of the globe. Technological solutions, such as e-learning, telemedicine and assistive technologies that can help individuals learn, receive healthcare and address special needs remotely unfortunately remain unavailable to those that typically need the most help.

Technology as a solution to the plight of impoverished communities, particularly in the context of handicapped orphaned children in the developing world, could bring immense hope in the form of providing remote assistance to those in rural areas on many levels of socioeconomics and general well-being. Even simple and fairly assumed technologies of proper irrigation, water purification, medical technologies, food pasteurization, among others that are standard to everyday life are completely outside of the resources available to impoverished areas in the developing world. With technology as such an unavailable commodity, it is obvious that the third world’s lacking and the industrialized world’s abundance forges the divide for any hope of developing nations to catch-up or even compete with the rest of the world. By being left behind, the economies in these areas will likely continue to decline and the people of these regions will predictably continue to suffer.

In considering some of the most helpless, the handicapped orphaned children, who could greatly benefit from the enlightenment and connection technology provides, sadly they are left without. As governments of the developed world work toward further advancements in resources like energy, agriculture and software to solve problems, the problems in areas without technology exponentially increase. When thinking of the possibilities to improve life that technology can provide, the urgency of recognizing the effects of advancement in industrialized nations and the cost to developing countries becomes a cause to petition for. With technology literally at our fingertips, it is difficult to think of those that cannot dream of such accessibility. There is so much potential for technology to assist these third world regions, and within them the handicapped orphaned children in their populations, but it is up to those that have to spread the benefits of modern living to those that are without such tools.