Extreme Poverty
"As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest." —  NELSON MANDELA

Extreme poverty, absolute poverty or destitution, was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as “a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.”

Poverty is complex and nuanced with changing dynamics that cause people to live outside of their God-given potential. It stems from natural disasters, wars, harsh climates, government corruption, unfair trade policies, debilitating social issues, lack of access to resources needed to build a solid community foundation and endless other factors that continue the cycle of generational poverty.

Here is a sobering look at extreme poverty in our world today:


  • More than 702 million people in the world live in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day.
  • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to the effects of poverty.
  • An estimated 842,000 people die each year globally from diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene.
  • Two million children die from preventable diseases each year, such as diarrhea and pneumonia, because they cannot afford proper treatment.
  • More than 750 million people lack access to clean drinking water.
  • 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. 300 million are children.
  • Every year, six million children die from malnutrition before their 5th birthday.
  • Around the world, 114 million children do not get even a basic education and 584 million women are illiterate.
  • Hunger is the number one cause of death in the world, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Our response is driven by our Christian faith.

Learn More
  • World Bank Forecasts Global Poverty to Fall Below 10% for First Time; Major Hurdles Remain in Goal to End Poverty by 2030
  • 11 Facts About Global Poverty. (n.d.). Retrieved December 8, 2015, from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-global-poverty
  • Fast Facts: The Faces of Poverty. (n.d.) Retrieved December 8, 2015, from http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/documents/3-MP-PovertyFacts-E.pdf
  • World Bank Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016- Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change