40 Examples from Fourth World Countries

The notion of fourth world to define countries breaks with the usual division between only three forms of countries: those that have reached a degree of development (developed countries), those that are on a path to development (developing countries), and those that have not. they have started that course (underdeveloped countries). For example: Nepal, Yemen, Laos, Haiti.

In this sense, the fourth world appears due to the division within the countries that are not developed, in the particular case of the poorest countries within the poor.

The characteristics of the fourth world countries are the relative youth in terms of the emergence of the independent state, as well as the exposure during their lifetime to different conflicts of a social or natural nature, of which their condition of extreme poverty makes them very difficult. get out.

Most of the population is in this condition of poverty, and then the provision of public goods becomes really complicated: at the same time that most of the people are poor because of the income they receive, the quality of life it is bad when it comes to the public sector.

Not just poor countries

The idea of ​​the fourth world, however, also has a different interpretation than that of countries located at the extreme of poverty. It is that during the ’70s, there were many theorists who began to observe that even in the most developed countries there were people who lived in really precarious situations: Joseph Wresinski, the founder of the first association in the interior of Europe with a mission for the poor, coined this term to refer to the poverty that occurs within sight of the most important cities of Europe.

The fourth world, to interpretation of Wresinski, arose under the noses of the first world and only as a result of the great difference in the distribution of wealth, in a process of polarization of social differences: poverty and wealth have always existed, but in the second half of the twentieth century the concentration reached a point where these differences were extreme.

The economic indicators that concern issues of inequality, such as the Gini coefficient, are very clear to that effect. Housing deficits, the lack of protection for some families and the high level of unemployment that has been reached there in recent years are favorable to the growth of this form of poverty.

Examples from Fourth World countries

Speaking of fourth world countries, however, restricts the definition to the former as it is about countries as units, and not of sectors within a country.

Next, a list of countries in the fourth world will be formalized, including one from America, five from Oceania, some more from Asia and a great majority concentrated in Africa (practically the entire continent).

YemenAngolaBurkina fasoLiberia
HaitiGambiaCape VerdeMalawi
SamoaNigerCentral African RepublicRwanda
ComorosGuinea-BissauChadSao Tome and Principe
Solomon IslandsBurmaBeninAfghanistan
MaliMaldivesEquatorial GuineaSenegal
MauritaniaBhutanEritreaSierra Leone
MozambiqueUgandaDemocratic Republic of CongoZambia