THE GLOBAL VILLAGE
If all people of the world lived in a global village of 100 people, 14 would live affluently, 11 would live comfortably, 35 would have at least their basic human needs met. The remaining 40 would struggle for existence. Those in extreme poverty sell their own scarce resources to their affluent neighbors in exchange for basic necessities.
The village is facing two major crises. The first is ecological as the environment suffers from the surge of technological advances. Depletion of soil, pollution of rivers and lakes, and deforestation become barriers for the agrarian poor villagers to provide for their families. The poorest of the poor are on the verge of hunger, which is the second major crisis.
The poorest 40 do not have enought to eat. Many suffer from malnutrition and none can afford basic health care. The 22 extremely poor plan for one meal a day and often only eat four times a week. Some of them are too poor to stay alive. They have pleaded to the rich affluent for assistance. They have been sent to the world's money doctor. The main prescription has been budgetary belt tightening for patients much too poor to own belts. Riots and coups have led to social chaos and economic distress.
Even though it takes large amounts of grain to produce meat, the comfortably affluent eat increasingly large amounts of meat. The impoverished 40 sell their livestock and other produce to their rich neighbors to purchase a few beans and some rice. Most of the village's hunger problems are due to the affluent lifestyle of their rich neighbors.
The 35 people living between the poor and the affluent are the relatively poor. They have succeeded in finding low paying jobs in sweat shops, live in sub-standard housing, some with running water, and a few have working latrines. Their income level exceeds $2.00 per day. However, they still do not have access to quality health care or education. Occasionally, these villagers splurge and eat unhealthy fast food.
The affluent 14 recognize the problems and set up procedures to help their unfortunate neighbors. They have enacted a plan to eliminate poverty in the village, yet their elaborate security systems and necessities of life make it difficult to set aside fifteen cents out of every one-hundred dollars earned for development aid.
To an outside observer, such a situation may seem strange. But this is life in the Global Village.
Why is poverty a global problem ?
How can you help eliminate poverty ?
Which two of the United Nations' Millennium Goals do you think are most important and why?
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