Poverty in the World Today

What’s it like to be really poor?

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Number of child deaths from poverty

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TheWorldCounts, 16 July, 2014

What’s it like to be really poor?

More than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day and an estimated 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, making do with $1.25 or less daily.

Can you imagine what it’s like to not have enough food to eat and go to bed hungry at night?

Poverty is still a big problem in the world today, as you can see from the numbers. This is in spite of the progress that you see around you. The good news is that in 2010, only 18% of the world’s population was living way below the poverty line as compared to 36% in 1990. It’s a small victory, but the progress is slow.

The World Bank aims to reduce global poverty to 9% by 2020 and to 3% by 2030. They plan to do this by focusing more on promoting income growth for the bottom 40% of the population and boosting shared prosperity.  It’s a herculean task.

How is poverty measured?

The problem with poverty is that the causes are extremely complicated with different factors contributing to the problem. Ending it requires more than just economic growth. “Developed” countries with strong economies still have a significant number of people who are struggling to survive.

How do we even measure poverty? The state of poverty is not the same for everybody. A person may be earning $3 a day but their financial capability still needs to be compared to the rest of the population.  So, a poor person in the US has a different poverty level than a poor person in Sub-Saharan Africa.

More: Child Labour in Sweatshops

Quick Facts on Global Poverty

  • According to UNICEF, around 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Hunger, lack of sanitation and access to clean water and lack of resources for proper health care are the main reasons.
  • Back in 2011, 165 million children were stunted due to malnutrition.
  • Around 1 billion people welcomed the 21st century not knowing how to read and write.
  • Infectious diseases continue to cause the deaths of the poor people around the world. Diarrhea causes the death of 1.8 million children each year.

More:  Facts about Child Slavery

  • Although poverty has been declining for the last 3 decades, the poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa continued to increase between 1981 and 2010. It went up from 205 million to 414 million.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 1/3 of the world’s poorest people, another 1/3 comes from India and then China, contributing 13% to the global poverty statistics.
  • In 2010, the average income of the poor people in developing countries increased from 74 cents to 87 cents per day.  But the income of the extreme poor in Sub-Saharan Africa remained flat at less than half of $1.25 per day.
  • Around 1.1 billion people in developing countries don’t have access to water and 2.6 billion live in poor conditions lacking basic sanitation.
  • 1.6 billion people live without electricity.

Ending Poverty

Studies show that the more developed a country becomes, the larger the income gap grows. We can see from these numbers that a country’s economic growth does not guarantee that its citizens will be lifted out of poverty. What needs to be solved is the inequality that develops.

If you can imagine, a poor person in an industrialized country will find it harder to interact within their society, than a poor person in a poor country. The disparity will be more obvious when there is a wider income gap between the rich and the poor. Due to this inequality, the instances of crime can increase when people find themselves looked down upon and disrespected. They feel the injustice of their situation even more.

More:  Child Labor Working Conditions

No one wants to be poor. Sometimes you are born to it and your circumstances give you fewer options. You spend your days trying your best to survive, with no energy left to think about being creative and being concerned about the things that you and I think about daily.

What are the solutions being proposed to solve the problem of poverty around the world?

  1. Bring education to the extremely poor to enable them to have better jobs.
  2. Give them Health Care to improve their physical conditions and make them more competitive.
  3. Use the budget allocated for War and Weapons to stop Global Hunger.
  4. Governments should invest in programs and projects that will be beneficial to improving the lives of the poor – to open opportunities for them to lift themselves out of poverty. More schools, better sanitation, a cleaner environment and more income opportunities.
  5. Give people living without electricity access to renewable energy.

Reducing poverty is doable. Now more than ever, we have the technology and the tools we need to end it. What we need is to increase our efforts and support current initiatives. With everyone’s help and the willingness of our poor population, we might just succeed.

Learn more about the social and environmental issues we are facing today. Find out how you can contribute to the efforts to make our world a better place. Read The World Counts: Stories

References

  1. Global Issues: Poverty Around The World
  2. Global Issues: Poverty Facts and Stats
  3. The World Bank: Prosperity for All. Ending Extreme Poverty
  4. The World Bank: State of the Poor paper
  5. Do Something: Facts about Global Poverty

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