Hungry Planet – Chad and France


While looking through the Hungry Planet gallery for my two chosen countries, Chad and France, the differences were striking. It’s hard to overstate how different the two countries seem just from a gallery of a few pictures. The families in Chad had a sad, dreary, pain-ridden tone that was evident for a number of different reasons. The facilities were minimal or non-existent. People huddled around on the ground using rudimentary tools to cook basic meals in simple tents. The blistering, dry desert surrounded everywhere and left everything with a coat of brown sand. The pictures of the families in France could not be more different. Everyone is smiling and happy and the pictures are full of bright color and vibrancy. You can feel a strong energy from seeing the families interact and get a sense of carelessness that one only knows when the basic important things come easily. This is a feeling that most people from the USA will admit to having when forced to look introspectively. There are many reasons for the huge differences in the situations of countries like Chad and France. Ecological differences obviously play a large role in the development in any country. The hot, arid climate in Chad is not conducive to agricultural development and limits the viability of other non-agricultural endeavors as well. Everything is more difficult in the desert. A lack of strong political leadership and living in the aftermath of colonial occupation has also hampered development in Chad. On the other hand, France benefits from a strong political leadership and cooperation between other developed countries in Europe. Chad is surrounded by many other African countries struggling from the same things, most unable to derive much significant benefit from each other. International institutions have a responsibility to offer aid and help to promote development in countries like Chad. Although some aid is given the majority is only a short-term solution. If we are to truly help struggling countries we need to find a way to help promote development and offer a way of self-determination for the local people.

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