Monday, October 13, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

I've just been reading a whole pile of stats from the Technorati site on the state of blogging in the world. Okay, it's probably a little loaded in terms of the US, but Europe and Asia get a good look in too. (Australasia is lagging a bit behind, but perhaps we were already a day ahead when the survey was sent out?) Anyway, it's interesting to compare those stats with the ones available for the Blog Poverty Day. Here are some of the top facts:
  • Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
  • 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
These are tough stats, and sitting here blogging doesn't seem to be much of a way to reduce them. However, joining in this poverty action day is a start, and I recommend it to anyone else who blogs to get involved. It's not officially till the 15th of this month, but getting a head start won't matter, I'm sure.
These stats come from the Global Issues site, where there are plenty more shocking statistics.
Perhaps what's worst at the moment is the way the world's scrambling to save its wealth, when the money that's being put into saving it could save real live human beings - millions of them - around the world. Sad to say, greed still reigns supreme, especially in the US, where CEOs who do next to nothing for their livelihoods except pronounce what hundreds of real workers should do, bail out with millions of dollars in retirement funds. Well, they can't take it with them, and when they meet up with the poor in the world after death, I hope they have a good excuse for their behaviour.
Which doesn't mean that I'm less guilty because I don't happen to be in their shoes, though I do aim to help when I can.

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