In the early 80’s, Bob Geldof of the band called The Boomtown Rats saw in the news the massive famine engulfing the African country of Ethiopia. He felt guilty because he couldn’t believe that while the Western world was suffering from an abundance of wealth and food, a continent just below them were a people that did not have anything at all.
He organized Band Aid, enlisting the help of other stars like Bono, George Michael and Sting, to raise funds for Africa through a song entitled “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Their counterparts in the United States followed suit, with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie writing a song called “We are the World.” They then banded together for Live Aid, that added stars like Madonna, Paul McCartney and Elton John in a two-continent concert.
Yet, almost three decades after, Africa remains a veritable wasteland. Out of the 20 poorest countries in the world, 17 comes from the continent, including nine out of the top 10.
Based on the different countries’ gross domestic product purchasing power parity, here are the 20 poorest countries in the world in 2013.
20. Haiti – $1,358.10
Haiti is a country in the Caribbean that was the first independent nation of Latin America, the second republic in the entire Americas, and the first republic in the world to be led by blacks. It is one of only two nations in the Americas to speak French in an official capacity. It has been ravaged by political violence throughout its history.