I rarely buy the daily newspaper and there are a number of reasons for this. Newspapers contain mostly stories of a negative nature. I feel guilty about the environmental impact of regularly buying a hard copy newspaper. If I buy a newspaper I only read a small percentage of the articles so it seems a waste. However, if a cafe has a free copy of the day's newspaper I sometimes skim through it while enjoying a cappuccino. This is what I did the other day.
How important do people think it is that extreme poverty is eliminated? What is the definition of extreme poverty? After reading the newspaper it seems to me the issue of extreme poverty isn't considered important in the world of journalism.
On page 42 I stumbled across an article with the title, 'Winning the war on extreme poverty'. According to information supplied by the World Bank, this year, for the first time ever, extreme poverty will affect less than 10% of the world's population. This is estimated to be about 702 million people. Although this is still a lot of people the good news is less people are experiencing extreme poverty than in the past.
According to the article, in 2012 the number was around 902 million (about 13% of the world's population) and in 1999 about 29% of the world's population. Currently, people living on less than $US 1.90 a day are classed as living in extreme poverty.
The aim is to eradicate extreme poverty within the next 15 years. If the rate continues to drop, this goal could be achieved. I was surprised the article was not near the front of the newspaper. It was only by chance I saw the article. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised as negative news and sensational items are regularly the ones which are featured.
Some people may feel the article is negative because to state 702 million people are experiencing extreme poverty is an awful lot of people. There are even more people living in poverty but it is hard to come up with a figure because it depends how the term 'poverty' is defined.
Whatever the definition or criteria chosen, there are so many people throughout the world who do not have access to the most basic of life's basic needs. Addressing the problem is a massive and complicated task. The United Nations has plans involving trillions of dollars to be invested in health and education to eradicate extreme poverty. They also have plans for what they refer to as 'safety nets' to stop people slipping back into poverty once the goal is achieved.
When I read about all the people in the world who do not have their basic needs met it reminds me of how fortunate I am. It also makes me truly grateful for everything I have.