Three billion people in the world live on 2.5 dollars a day (1.8 euros) . It seems impossible, but it is so. And they are not even the most "unlucky": far more impressive figures make their way into what? Abhijit Banerjee? and Esther Duflo, two economists at MIT in Boston, have defined the poverty economy . We collected them in these 10 points. We must be impressed, even if there is room for some good news.
1. Precious water
More than 1 billion people do not have sufficient access to drinking water and an estimated 400 million of these are children.
2. Children are the poorest
Out of 2.2 billion children in the world, around half, 1 billion live in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22, 000 children die every day due to poverty . In 2011, 165 million children under the age of five were rickety (reduced rate of growth and development, ed) due to chronic malnutrition.
3. Rich and poor
The 300 richest people in the world possess the same wealth as the 3 billion of the poorest.
In the world at least 1 billion people are totally illiterate, unable even to write their own name.
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5. Atavistic hunger
870 million people suffer from malnutrition, that is, they do not have enough food to feed themselves. Of these, 852 million live in developing countries and 16 million in developed countries. In 1990 it was 1 billion. Considering the increase in world population, we know that in the last twenty years, the number of undernourished people has decreased by almost 30 percent in Asia and the Pacific (from 739 to 563 million), largely thanks to the development of many countries in the region such as China. Latin America and the Caribbean have also made progress, going from 65 million hungry in 1990-1992 to 49 million in 2010-2012. In Africa, on the other hand, the number of hungry has increased from 175 to 239 million, with the result that 1 inhabitant of the African continent out of 4 suffers from hunger. Yet the current agricultural production of the world would be enough to provide every living human being with a daily diet of 2720 calories .
6. Solutions at your fingertips
It has been calculated that offering basic education, drinking water and sanitation, basic health and adequate nutrition for the inhabitants of developing countries would have an annual cost of around 30 billion euros . Several economists agree that investing in agriculture is the most effective way to reduce poverty.
7. Extreme poverty
In poverty there is a further form of indigence, the so-called "extreme poverty" to which those who live with less than $ 1.25 belong: 1.4 billion people in the world (of which 75% are women).
This figure is obtained from an average of poverty lines in the 15 poorest countries. According to the World Bank, the poorest country in the world is Haiti, where more than half the population (just over 10 million inhabitants) lives on less than $ 1 a day, while about 80% of the country lives on less than 2 dollars a day.
8. Good news
Extreme poverty is not inevitable . Since 1990, 1 billion people have left it. The decline in the poverty rate is usually attributed to economic growth, just think of countries like China, where growth has meant that between 1981 and 2001 680 million people emerged from extreme poverty, but according to The Economist weekly, in countries where income inequalities are greatest, each percentage point of GDP growth will do less work against poverty than growth would do in a place with less inequality.
The World Bank is confident that extreme poverty should be eradicated by 2030 . However, according to some economists the economic strategy document to achieve this ambitious purpose (42 pages) is somewhat vague about which exact programs the bank will support.
10. The vicious circle of poverty
Poverty is one of the main causes of hunger, and hunger, which reduces the level of energy and health, preventing people from working and getting food, is one of the main causes of poverty.