- Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day.
- More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty—less than $1.25 a day.
- At least 80% of humanity (or 5.5 billion) lives on less than $10 a day.
- Number of children in the world: 2.2 billion; number of children living in poverty: 1 billion (almost every other child).
- According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due one or more issues of poverty.
- 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
- Close to 1 billion people on the planet lack adequate access to clean drinking water.
- Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, or approximately 2,300 people per day.
- In 2011, 165 million children under age 5 were stunted (reduced rate of growth and development) due to chronic malnutrition.
- Preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who live with families too poor to afford proper treatment.
- As of 2013, 21.8 million children under 1 year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
- One forth (1/4) of all humans live without electricity—approximately 1.8 billion people.
- Approximately half the world’s population now live in cities and towns. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approximately 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions.
- Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names
What I am most concerned with here, however, is not just simply connecting you with issues of poverty, but that you understand these statistics are not numbers but real, living human beings--our neighbors, locally and globally. One should recall as you are reading these stats what Jesus referred to as the command like unto the first, Love your neighbor as yourself.
What is most overwhelming is the BIG picture. What can I do? My suggestion is pick one, choose a focus, adopt a neighborhood, do something within your potential sphere of influence, neighborhood, or passion. Harness either your time, your talent or your treasure (or all three) and do something to ameliorate the causes of poverty. Do one thing. My suggested resource: Mae Elise Cannon's book Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World, is a great place to start, for she lists many resources and organizations, ministries, and non-profits by issue or activity. I suggest you read through this volume.