I am not a weepy person. In fact when my Mom and I watch chick flicks, she sees my dry cheeks and tells me I have a cold heart. But I have to confess something to you—when I sat down to comb through encouraging statistics for this blog, I started getting weepy. As the great philosopher Bono points out, “If you live on less than a $1.25 a day…this is not just data, this is everything.” (1)
Despite all the positive change taking place, more than 8 in 10 Americans (84%) are unaware global poverty has been drastically reduced. (2) So be aware people! Shout it from the rooftops—things are getting better!
We’re going to share 5 statistics today as to not overwhelm, but there are so many more to discover at the links below.
1) The percentage of children who die before age 5 has been cut in half. In 1990 it was 1 in 10 children, today it’s 1 in 20 and by 2030 The Gates Foundation predicts it will be 1 in 40. (3)
2) In 1990, 43% of the world lived in extreme poverty. By 2011 that number had decreased by more than half to 17%. (4)
3) Over the past 30 years, adult illiteracy in the developing world has dropped from 47% to 25%. (5)
4) In 2001 there were more than half a million new HIV/AIDS infections. By 2012 the figure was cut in half to just over a quarter of a million. (6)
5) Statistics show that we could see the end of diseases like polio, guinea worm, elephantiasis, river blindness, and blinding trachoma by 2030. Treatments are being distributed in intentional locations at zero cost to the recipient. Last year, disease-stopping medicines were delivered for free to 800 million people. (7)
These numbers don’t just happen by themselves—innovations, investments, and hard work have created sustainable development solutions. In order for these positive trends to continue, we must be global citizens committed to the eradication of poverty. Fifty-five percent of Americans say knowing these encouraging statistics will make a difference in the way they approach poverty alleviation. So, won’t you join us in sharing the good news? (8)
PS- Now that you’re jazzed by these stats, you might be asking, “What can I do to actually help?” We’ll talk about it next week…