I just stumbled upon a site on world-wide poverty, which provides a lot of numbers displaying the alarming disparity between rich and poor countries.

I heard some statistics which are presented on the site from time to time but the sum of them is simply overwhelming.

It’s made up of citations of reliable sources like the UNICEF or the World Bank – some random results:

  • One in two children worldwide live in poverty
  • World’s poorest 20% acount for 1,5% of private comsumption, world’s richest 20% for 76,6% of private comsumption
  • People in Europe and the US spent 1998 approximately as much for perfumes as would be needed to grant basic health and nutrition in all developing countries (12 vs. 13 billion $)
  • About 0.13% of the world’s population controlled 25% of the world’s financial assets in 2004
  • More than 10% of the world’s population lived on 1$ or less a day in 2005 [all from here]

Check our the article: Anup Shah, Poverty Facts and Stats, GlobalIssues.org, Last updated: Wednesday, September 03, 2008

But what to do?

I think the first and most important step is to bring this information into the conscience of the people. Everybody has heard things about the rich and the poor and the big difference, but in my opinion facts and numbers are strong arguments and can impact in people’s minds. Of course not everybody can start working in development assistance immediately or donate all his/her money to NGOs, but it’s good to have in mind how little our problems are in relation. The gap is even becoming larger and that’s simply not tolerable. When everybody is convinced that change must come, it will.

However, political discussions are often shallow and public interest is finding a new hot topic almost constantly so it’s a hard piece of work to raise awareness. This blog should be a small reminder. But we want to go large scale. One first step is “Mobilethe movie“, documenting the usage of mobile phones in southern Africa, since we think that technology can help improving living conditions.

Another thing Martin pointed me on is the One Dollar Diet Project.

Two Social Justice teachers have decided to start eating on one dollar a day. [from here]

It’s their way of raising awareness. Or the Laafi Fest in Vienna tomorrow.

Poverty is a problem, but we can do something.

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was published on 20.09.2008 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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