Poverty

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What we're doing

Extreme poverty has been halved

Our goal

To eradicate extreme poverty by 2030

Poverty is complicated

It’s not just a matter of saying a person is poor and will always be that way, it’s a complex web of circumstances that hinder the very survival of people around the world.

The World Bank’s definition of extreme poverty is those living on less than $US1.25 a day, but the United Nations goes beyond a numerical definition and highlights the deprivation of basic human needs as part of its definition. Poverty isn’t just a low income, but a lack of access to services and essential goods.

In 2011, more than one billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day.

The Millennium Development Goals set the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015 and achieved it in 2010; the global community now aims to eradicate it entirely by 2030.

The consequences of poverty are far-reaching and long-lasting, including child deaths, lack of access to education and food insecurity, all of which can be caused by poverty and in turn can perpetuate it.

LEFT: Streetscapes of Jaipur, India, May 2013. RIGHT: A garbage tip, where people live, in South Delhi, India.

Poverty is responsible for the deaths of more than six million children before their fifth birthdays, contributing to a lack of access to health care and immunisations, as well as to proper nutrition, leaving children vulnerable to mostly preventable illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. Malnutrition is responsible for 45 percent of all deaths in children aged under five.

The situation is improving, and the number of deaths has fallen since 1990, when the number of children dying before the age of five was more than 12 million every year.

However, almost 805 million people in the world – one in nine – don’t have access to enough food.

Drought, a lack of money, low productivity and the health and education of farmers all contribute to food insecurity. A natural disaster or conflict can further exacerbate an inability to access food, and families living in poverty are less able to make up the shortfall when markets change dramatically.

World Vision addresses both the short and long-term causes of hunger and food insecurity in many countries around the world, by teaching farmers how to nurture their land, prevent soil degradation and increase sustainability and productivity. We also provide farmers with new varieties of seed that are both more productive and nutritious, and training in improved agricultural techniques.

When food is assured and children don’t have to contribute to providing food, water and firewood to a household, they can focus on the education that will help lift them and their own children out of poverty.

Educated mothers, for example, are better informed about healthcare and appropriate nutrition, and raise healthier children. Education also results in higher wages and economic growth, with each additional year of schooling equating to a 10 percent increase in wages.

Poverty and its effect

45%

child mortality rate

Malnutrition is responsible for 45 percent of all deaths in children aged under five

805 million

people

Almost 805 million people in the world – one in nine – don’t have access to enough food

$1.25

living cost per day

In 2011, more than one billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day

What is World Vision doing?

Education supports the growth of civil society, democracy and political stability, allowing people to learn about their rights and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to exercise them.

Once educated, opening up economic opportunities for people living in poverty is a fundamental step in helping them transform their lives. By identifying the ways incomes can be improved, communities can begin the process of wealth creation – an integral part of reducing poverty.

Higher incomes give children better opportunities to access education and healthcare, ensuring the cycle of poverty is broken.

World Vision works with communities by providing small loans to create and expand businesses, and help improve access to local and international markets. We also establish community savings groups and provide education and training to foster entrepreneurship.

World Vision also supports proven, cost-effective solutions that improve children’s health: immunisation, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, exclusive breastfeeding, oral rehydration to prevent death from diarrhoea, more skilled birth attendants, nutrition programs, and access to programs to learn improved hygiene practices.

send a girl to school Education is vital for a better future. Help provide education for a girl so she can finish school and then earn a living.

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