(Suggested Meditation Time: 20 minutes)
“If a single 747 crashed, it would be on the nightly news. Scenes of rescuers looking through the wreckage and doctors treating any survivors would fill our living rooms and it would – rightly – be seen as a moral emergency. Yet the much larger moral emergency of forty 747s worth of children dying each day from easily preventable diseases is left unreported – even though tomorrow’s deaths are not predetermined, even though it is part of a much more interesting and challenging story about who is responsible and how they should be brought to account. It is old news. It is an everyday emergency.” – Toby Ord, from “Global Poverty and the demands of morality” in God, The Good, and Utilitarianism: Perspectives on Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- The number of people living on less than $1.25 per day has dramatically decreased in the last three decades, from half of the citizens in the developing world in 1981 to 21% in 2010. But, there are still more than 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. While one might argue that $1.25 goes much further in developing countries than it does in the USA, this figure represents the amount of buying power one would have if one were living in USA. Imagine living in the USA on about $1.25 per day, $9 a week!
- The top five poorest countries in the world are India (with 33% of the world’s poor), China (13%), Nigeria (7%), Bangladesh (6%), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (5%).
- Adding another five countries — Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya — would include almost 80% of the world’s extreme poor.
- About 22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty. This is equivalent to 40 Boeing 747s crashing each day without media coverage.
- Approximately 1.2 billion people — nearly as many as the entire population of India — still live without access to electricity.