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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

Last updated on: January 31, 2011 10:42 IST

Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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It is unbelievable but true! More than 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. One child dies of hunger-related causes every five seconds, taking a toll on 16,000 poor hungry children each day.

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Image: A poor family in India.

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More than 1.4 billion people live at poverty line or below. According to a the World Bank report, there are over 1,345 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 (about Rs 57) a day or less.

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Image: A child in Thailand.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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The top 1 per cent of the world's richest people earn as much as the poorest 57 per cent.

There are an estimated 350-400 million people living below the poverty line in India, 75 per cent of them in the rural areas. Acording to World Bank estimates, 80 per cent of India's population lives on less than $2 (about Rs 92) a day.

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Image: Poor children in Africa.

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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the 41 heavily indebted poor countries (with a population of over 567 million people) is less than the combined wealth of the world's 7 richest people!

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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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In 2005, the wealthiest 20 per cent of the world accounted for 76.6 per cent of total private consumption.

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Most of the decrease in hunger levels was in Asia, with 80 million fewer hungry, but progress was also made in sub-Saharan Africa, where 12 million fewer people are going hungry.

However, the number of hungry people is higher in 2010 than before the food and economic crises of 2008 09.

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Image: Fewer people are going hungry in Asia but numbers still alarming.

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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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The percentage of Americans struggling below the poverty line in 2009 was the highest in 15 years. Four million additional Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, with the total reaching 44 million.

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Image: A makeshift home with General Motors headquarters in the background, in Detroit.
Photographs: Rebecca Cook/Reuters.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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Children are the most visible victims of under-nutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year - five million deaths.

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Image: Students have a free meal distributed by a government-run school in Nalchar village, near Agartala.
Photographs: Jayanta Dey/Reuters.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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India accounts for 50 per cent of the world's hungry. Over 46 per cent of Indian children are undernourished. Health too is a major challenge - the very survival of India's women and children is threatened.

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Image: Sushila, who weighs 4.5 kg and suffers from severe malnutrition, sits in her mother's lap.
Photographs: Reinhard Krause/Reuters.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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In 2006, on average 254 women died giving birth to a child for every 100,000 live births down from 327 in 1990. Across India 74 children died before they reached the age of five for every 1,000 live births in 2005-06 as compared to 125 in 1990.

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Image: Rural women in India.

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India has been ranked 67, way below neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, in a new Global Hunger Index by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The number of poor in 2015 is likely to be 279 million at all-India level.

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Image: Poor people in India.
Photographs: Reuters.
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China has made considerable progress in fighting poverty and especially hunger. In 2008, it stood at the 15th spot with a hunger rate of 7.1 points.

In 2009, it jumped up to the 5th position with a hunger rate of 5.7, even though it has a huge population. However, this year, it ranked 9th in the index.

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Image: A homeless man sleeps with his possessions on the footpath near Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 per cent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 per cent population increase.

This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day. The main problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

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Image: Enough food for all.

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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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Malnutrition affects 32.5 per cent of children in developing countries. More than 70 per cent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 per cent in Africa and 4 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Image: A malnourished baby in India.
Photographs: Courtesy, UNICEF.
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Poverty: 20 alarming facts you must know

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One in seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009 with a family of four living on less than $21,954 a year, according to the US Census Bureau.

The official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 per cent -- up from 13.2 per cent in 2008. This was the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004.

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Image: A homeless man.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

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Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.

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Image: A woman carry drinking water from a village pump.
Photographs: Reuters.
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Rural areas account for three in every four people living on less than $1 a day and a similar share of the world population suffering from malnutrition.

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Image: More poverty in rural areas.

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Around 1.6 billion people, around the world have no access to electricity.

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Image: A child studies with a solar lamp.
Photographs: Courtesy, D.light Design.
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Most of the world's hungry live in the developing countries, accounting for 16 per cent of the poor.


Image: People sleep on the footpath.
Photographs: Reuters
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