Knowledge is a powerful thing...
Arming yourself with information and facts about our current reality will empower you to act accordingly.
Some Sad Facts about Our World:
Here's Our World in a wonderful 3 minute video...I urge you to watch it!
Did You Know...?
The Earth's population reached 6.5 billion on Saturday, February 25, 2006. Asia accounts for over 60% of the world population with almost 3.8 billion people. China and India alone comprise 20% and 16% respectively. Africa follows with 840 million people, 12% of the world population. Europe's 710 million people make up 11% of the world's population. North America is home to 514 million (8%), South America to 371 million (5.3%) and Oceania to roughly 60 million (.9%).
That according to UNICEF, about 25,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago. Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Today 10% of children in developing countries die before the age of five. This is down from 28% fifty years ago.
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Famine and wars cause just 10% of hunger deaths, although these tend to be the ones you hear about most often. The majority of hunger deaths are caused by chronic malnutrition.
According to UNICEF, more than 10 million children die every year - about 30,000 per day - from avoidable, poverty-related causes. Among them are 4 million babies who will not survive the first month of life...that is ten 9/11 tragedies a day...think of the resources we could spend to stop this if we wanted to!
It is estimated that 1.2 million children per year...I'll write it again...1.2 million children each and every year, are bought, sold and trafficked into organized crime networks for sweatshop labor and prostitution--sex slavery. The Lancet, the British medical journal, estimated that 10 million children 17 and under may work in prostitution worldwide!
According to the 1996 World Food Summit, 840 million people live in the condition of chronic, persistent hunger, one-seventh of our human family. The vast majority of hungry people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The sad macro facts: 73% of the world's poor have lived through a civil war; 29% live in countries dominated by revenue provided by a single natural resources; 30% live in either a bad regional neighborhood, are landlocked or are living in resource scare countries; and finally, 76% live in nations with both bad governance and weak domestic economic policies.
At least 900 million people now live in shantytowns and other makeshift settlements in cities vulnerable to disasters such as cyclones, flooding or earthquakes--those populations are growing at a rate of about 25 million a year, says said U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.
Think about this: the whole of sub-Saharan Africa has less the GDP than Belgium!
Think about it: Civil wars are basically development in reverse, and they last on average of 60-months main characteristics are a general lack of hope due to a lack of education, too many youths without jobs and kids without parents. BTW, the typical cost of an average civil war to the countries neighbors is over $60 billion. (The moral of the story? Spend a little now on efficient, smart aid, or a lot later...a simple cost-benefit analysis!)
Think about it: Failing states, states where a civil society doesn't function well (i.e.: economic grow) for several reasons (see: Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Haiti, Chad, Sudan, etc.) cost the international community on average $100 billion dollars. Economic analysts suggest that failed states could be averted with as little as $7 billion in efficiently given aid! (The moral of the story? Maybe it is time for international interventions!)
The World Bank defines "extreme poverty" as living on less than $1 per day, and moderate poverty as less than $2 a day. It has been estimated that in 2001, 1.1 billion people had consumption levels below $1 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day.
Fact: To belong to the top 1 per cent of the worlds wealthiest you need more than $500,000 in assets, something that 37 million people have achieved. Adults with more than $2,200 of assets were in the top 50% of the global wealth league table, while those with more than $61,000 were in the top 10 per cent.
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
That according to the United Nations the richest 358 people on the Forbes 400 have more financial where with all than 2.3 billion others combined!
One third of deaths - some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day - are due to poverty-related causes. That's 270 million people since 1990, the majority women and children, roughly equal to the population of the US.
Every 3.6 seconds a child dies of starvation and every 15 seconds unsafe drinking water kills a child.
That over 65% of the world’s entire population has never made a phone call in their lives!
Some 38% of the poorest of the poor, the bottom billion, live in landlocked nations. (They need good neighbors with good infrastructure to get their exports to global markets!)
One in three cigarettes smoked in the world today are smoked in China.
Today, an estimated 34–46 million others are living with HIV/AIDS. In 2003, 3 million people died and 5 million others became infected. Already, the disease has killed more than 20 million people since the 1980's. AIDS is still killing 8,000 people every day.
Tuberculosis, or TB, claims some 2 million lives across the world each year! Overall, one-third of the world's population is currently infected with the TB bacillus.
Malaria causes about 350–500 million infections in humans and approximately 2.1 million deaths annually—this represents at least one death every 30 seconds. From a mosquito bite!
While a baby girl born in Japan today can expect to live for about 85 years, a girl born at the same moment in Sierra Leone has a life expectancy of 36 years.
Official U.S. foreign assistance to the least developed countries topped $27 billion in 2005.
U.S. consumer weight loss market worth $49.7 billion in 2005.
The Central African Republic may be the single most wretched country in the
world: life expectancy is less than 38, and every year it falls by another six months!
The entire United Nations 2006 budget for development-related activities was $10 billion--in 2005, Chevron had profits in excess of $14 billion...ExxonMobil's were more than $36 billion!
Fact: The bottom half of the world’s adult population—or about 1.85 billion people—owns collectively only one percent of the world’s assets....whereas, the top 1 percent of the world’s adult population (about 37 million people) owns 40 percent of the world’s wealth, while top 10 percent owns 85 percent. The gap is getting bigger!
Although slavery is illegal in most of the world, an estimated 27 million people live in bondage, according to Free the Slaves, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit group working to eradicate the phenomenon globally--about 10 to 20 percent of the cases she sees also involve sexual abuse and rape.
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." -- General and President Dwight Eisenhower
And Little Closer to Home...
The USA needs a net inflow of capital of $3 billion a day from the rest of the world to keep the economy afloat.
The United States imports and the rest of the world exports; the United States borrows and the rest of the world lends. Financial flows are so lopsided that last year America soaked up 80% of the surplus savings in the entire world.
According to research conducted by the Urban Institute, 1.9 million US seniors must choose between buying food and buying needed medicine.
31 million Americans were food insecure, meaning they were either hungry or unsure of where their next meal would come from. 12 million of these Americans were children.
The nation’s official 2006 poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 12.6 percent, 37 million people. That's 5.4 million more than in 2000--a 17% increase.
Think about that...one of every 12 residents in AMERICA are living hand-to-mouth!?
An estimated 3.6 million Californians are infected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Most of those who are infected don’t know it!
The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30% of US adults aged 20 and older are obese. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
30% to 40% of all cancers are directly linked to the foods we eat, the exercise we get and how well we watch our weight.
In 1993, at the time of President Clinton's doomed health care reform proposal, the nation's medical system made up 13.7% of its GDP, sixteen years later, in 2005, health care spending exceeded $2 trillion, amounting to a full 16% of the nation's GDP--compared to 9.7% in Germany and 9.5% in France.
US residents without health insurance increased by 1.3 million in 2005 to a record 46.6 million individuals, or 15.9% of the US population!
The United States spends more than a thousand dollars per capita per year--or close to four hundred billion dollars--on health-care-related paperwork and administration, whereas Canada, for example, spends only about three hundred dollars per capita.
A 2003 Pew poll found that 72 percent of Americans favored government-guaranteed health insurance for all.
American life expectancy at birth ranks behind fifteen nations, all of which spend proportionately far less on health care.
Infants die at a higher rate in America each year than in 21 other countries, including Ireland and France, with black infant mortality rates projected to be three times greater than that of white infants in the year 2000.
US bankruptcy filings in 2005 rose 31.6 percent, topping 2 million. 1 in every 53 households! Half the families in bankruptcy filings have serious medical problems.
Roughly 1 percent of adults in this country are incarcerated. We have 4 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of its prisoners. No other nation has as large a proportion of its population in prison. The cost? Each prisoner costs taxpayers $35,000 a year....over $60 billion a year!
How to Better Understand the World?
Pay attention and read. Start here and empower yourself. Action will follow!
Collier, Paul (2008). The Bottom Billion.
Sachs, Jeffrey (2008). Common Wealth.
Sachs, Jeffrey (2005). The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time.
Kidder, Tracy (2003). Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.
Smith, Stephen (2005). Ending Global Poverty: A Guide to What Works.
Diamond, Jared (2004). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
Sen, Amartya (2000). Development as Freedom.
Bornstein, David (2004). How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.
Yunus, Mohammad (2003). Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty.
Mortensen, Greg (2006). Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time
Thank you for paying attention...it is the critical first step!