Nearly half 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.
Extreme poverty depends not only on income but also on access to services. It is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic Human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.
Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.
Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways. Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape.
So poverty is a call to action – for the poor and the wealthy alike – a call to change the World so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities.
Despite the many definitions, one thing is certain; poverty is a complex societal issue. No matter how poverty is defined, it can be agreed that it is an issue that requires everyone’s attention.
It is important that all members of our Society work together to provide the opportunities for all our members to reach their full potential. It helps all of us to help one another.