Extreme poverty:
Why the future looks bright

A heart-breaking 1.1 billion people are forced to live in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. That’s 18% of the world’s population struggling to survive, battling with hunger and severe deprivation, living on less than $1.25 a day. Nearly half are in India and China.

Over the years, we’ve become almost inured to images of suffering. Believing extreme poverty is a tough intractable problem. As old as hills. Unsolveable. Unshakeable. Out of our control.

This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by an epic 700,000,000. It’s still falling. It’s one of the UN Millennium Development goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Ending it. For good. Not just in our lifetime. But in the next fifteen years. This ambitious goal is not just achievable. It’s right on the horizon.

If we get it right, it’ll be something our children have to learn about in history books. Collectively, we can make it happen.

It’s never been more important to communicate the true picture. To understand what works and what doesn’t. And for all of us, across the world, to stay focused on poverty reduction.

We need to see the impact of our efforts, see beyond the stereotypes and understand how people everywhere are working to help themselves. Above all, we need to switch on a new generation of activists, not just in the West, but in Africa and the East too.

Eradicating extreme poverty is not just about charity. A more prosperous world for all of us means a more secure world for all of us. A world free of extremism. Free from preventable disease. Free from the abject desperation that drives so many of the world’s problems. This new world is ours for the taking.

And it’s far, far closer than many of us dare to think.


This post also appears on venturethree.com