Advanced Vocabulary for IELTS 7.0+: POVERTY AND SOCIAL ISSUES (Part 4)


Poverty in the Developing World

(A) Select an appropriate word from the box in the following page to fill each gap. Use each word once only and do not change the form.

Much of the developing world is caught in a(n) 1.__________ of sorts, battling to overcome the psychological and physical scars of the near past – of, in many cases, colonial or 2. __________ rule – while at the same time oddly 3.            __________ about making the changes necessary to 4. __________ a better future. In many cases, the sums don t add up; large parts of Africa and Latin America, for example, are resource-rich and 5. __________ well-positioned to make their mark in the 21st century, but, alas, there is something holding them back. For some, the source of the problem lies very high up indeed; in corrupt and/or unstable governments, which typically rule for the privileged few while the 6. __________ many struggle on in 7. __________ . Others are ravaged by years or even decades of tribal war and 8. __________ , and yet more have simply been the victims of misfortune – the wrath of Mother Nature, for example, which has unleashed drought, famine and, at times, utter 9. __________ on the hapless masses of much of Sub-Saharan Africa over the years.

But, whatever about the 10. __________ causes, the results are as clear as day. A lack of access to education and medical care has left many countries ravaged by diseases by and large under control in the West. Think the AIDS epidemic; that immunity-crippling terminal illness that much of Africa is still struggling to get a handle on. Factors like poor sanitation, malnutrition, poor or a total lack of access to clean water, high rates of violent crime and civil 11. __________ all play their part and contribute to the 12. __________ reality on the ground; high infant 13. __________ rates, low life expectancy, joblessness, substance abuse, 14. __________ , benightedness; the situation for many is dire. Where, in the West, when we talk about poverty, we do so in relative terms, here, poverty is 15. __________ . The poverty line is not drawn to distinguish those who can maintain a good standard of living from those struggling to do so, but rather it underlines the difference between life and death; the struggle to exist just long enough to welcome in another tomorrow.

absolute           despotic           hesitant            limbo               ostensibly        squalor

underlying       disheartening   corruption        devastation      indigence         mortality

safeguard        subservient      unrest

(B) The words below are synonyms of or similar in meaning to the answer choices for exercise (A). Write each answer-choice from (A) next to its synonym(s) below.

1. essential/fundamental

3. filth/dirt

5. death

7. reluctant

9. compliant

11. state of uncertainty

13. destitution/ poverty

15. disturbance/ discontent.

2. destruction

4. tyrannical/autocratic

6. total

8. dishonesty/unscrupulousness

10. secure/protect

12. demoralising/depressing

14. apparently/seemingly

(C) Match the words in Column A with their strongest collocates in Column B.

Column A Answer Column B
(a) humanitarian

(b) debt

(c) culture

(d) war

(e) racial

(f) religious

(g) refugee

(h) physical

(i) regime

(j) witch

(k) rebel

(i) clash

(ii) aid

(iii) change

(iv) tension

(v) doctor

(vi) camp

(vii) zealot

(viii) infrastructure

(ix) fighter

(x) crime

(xi) relief

(D) Use the answers to (C) above to fill in the gaps in the sentences below.

  1. The government has sanctioned the sending of __________ to the areas worst affected by the conflict.
  2. The __________ are thought to have lost considerable ground in the exchange today, and now look unlikely to threaten the capital.
  3. The girl died after her parents chose to take her to a(n) __________ rather than a hospital where she could get the medical care she so badly needed.
  4. He is a(n) __________ who stokes up hatred with his inflammatory speeches about the evils of Christendom.
  5. A(n) __________ was set up just across the border in Turkey to give those fleeing the conflict area shelter and access to basic essentials.
  6. The U.S. is demanding __________ and has pledged to support the people of the country should they rise up in arms against their leaders.
  7. As yet, no form of __________ has been agreed, so the country remains in the ludicrous position of having to make crippling repayments while the people on the ground starve.
  8. __________ is thought to have been the catalyst for the latest conflict, which is less about land than identity.
  9. The U.S. called it a(n) __________, but Syria says it acted with restraint and in accordance with international law in self-defence.
  10. The country’s__________ has been more or less completely destroyed as a result of this long-running conflict – it will take years to rebuild.
  11. Contrary to predictions that there would be a massive __________ , the group of asylum speakers have assimilated perfectly into the local community.


Poverty in the Developing World


  1. limbo 2. despotic 3. hesitant 4. safeguard
  2. ostensibly 6. subservient 7. squalor 8. corruption
  3. devastation 10. underlying 11. unrest 12. disheartening
  4. mortality 14. indigence 15. absolute


  1. underlying 2. devastation 3. squalor 4. despotic
  2. mortality 6. absolute 7. hesitant 8. corruption
  3. subservient 10. safeguard 11. limbo 12. disheartening
  4. indigence 14. ostensibly 15. unrest


a ii       b. xi     c. i       d. x      e. iv

f vii      g. vi     h. viii   i. iii      j. v       k. ix


1. financial aid

2. rebel fighters

3. witch doctor

4. religious zealot

5. refugee camp

6. regime change

7. debt relief

8. Racial tension

9. war crime

10. physical infrastructure

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Advanced Vocabulary for IELTS 7.0+: POVERTY AND SOCIAL ISSUES (Part 4)
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