Most of the time we think of disasters as things like tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, or fires. But for too many people disasters are close to everyday life. CARE, our 2009 beneficiary, estimates that now 220 million people teeter on the edge of disaster, because of poverty, in their normal lives. To put this in perspective, just over 300 million people live in the U.S. (http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html).
The BBC notes that U.N. just released information that the number of who suffer from acute hunger increased last year to nearly 925 million people, up 75 million (or nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population) last year.
The World Bank also recently released figures acknowledging that their previous poverty estimates were too low. Now they estimate that 1.4 billion people live below the equivalent of $1.25/day.
There is some good news, however. The percentage of people living in poverty has dropped from 50% of the world’s population to 25%.
But this is regionally concentrated. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the percent of people living below the poverty lines has remained unchanged at a staggering 50% over the last 25 years, and the absolute number of individuals in poverty has risen from 200 million to 380 million.