Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wondering About Poverty

I just couldn't let this following link go:

Dear Yahoo!:
How many people in the world live in extreme poverty?

London, England

Dear Kelly:
According to
NetAid, over a billion people, or roughly one in six, live in extreme poverty.

Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than US$1 a day.

The World Bank goes on to define moderate poverty as basic subsistence living, on $1 to $2 a day. All told, nearly half the world's population lives in poverty -- that's 2.8 billion people living on less than two dollars a day.

Some other facts to keep in mind:

  • Each year over 8 million people die because they are simply too poor to stay alive.
  • More than 800 million people go hungry every day.
  • The gross domestic product of the poorest 48 nations is less than the wealth of the world's three richest people.
  • Thirty-thousand children die every day due to hunger and treatable illnesses.
  • 6 million children die every year before their fifth birthday, as a result of malnutrition. You can find detailed poverty assessments of specific geographical regions on the World Bank's PovertyNet. And if you're interested in learning how the World Bank comes up with its poverty statistics, take a look at PovcalNet.
  • The goal of the Millennium Campaign is to reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. And the aim of the One Campaign is to direct an additional 1 percent of the United States budget towards eradicating global poverty.

* * * * *

It's been sometime since I've researched these facts (almost six years ago) and they remain the same. I know I have to work, but it's just a shame that the sense of poverty and deprivation is not caused by the actual lack of resources but how resources are distributed. I mean, how do you qualify government policy to dump excess milk or wheat into the ocean in order to stabilize prices when there are so many people going hungry?

On the Philippine front, how your explain people going poor when we can afford more than 200 million text messages a day, or roughly P500 million daily?

How can you justify poverty when so many people waste money needlessly, i.e. spending money for things that they don't really need to survive?

How can you condone poverty when there is so much wasted consumption?

We don't need equity, we just need equitability.

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