Poverty BAD 2008

What is poverty?

The World Bank describes it as “…a condition so limited by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surroundings, high infant mortality, and low life expectancy as to be beneath any reasonable definition of human decency.”  This is called absolute poverty.  Nowhere in this definition is mentioned the income of the person.

Below is a list of those countries which have more than 50% of their population living on less than $1 per day: The first % is under $2 per day, the second % is under $1 per day. These countries don’t have the luxury of a government paying out social welfare or unemployment benefits.


Percentage population living on less than 1 dollar day 2007-2008.png


 Burundi   87.6 54.6
 Central African Republic   84.0 66.6
 The Gambia 82.9 59.3
 Haiti 78.0 53.9
 Madagascar 85.1 61.0
 Niger 85.8 60.6
 Nigeria 92.4 70.8
 Rwanda 87.8 60.3
 Sierra Leone 74.5 57.0
 Tanzania 89.9 57.8
 Zambia 87.2 63.8
 Zimbabwe 83.0 56.1

Source:  Wikipedia

Yet many people living in industrialized countries including Australia would spend a dollar per day on lollies, chips, soft drink, comics or some non-essential item.  But we still have people living in relative poverty.   These countries work on a poverty line. This is the amount needed, per week, by two adults and two dependant children to supply basic living needs.  These are the poverty line amounts for Australia:

  • 1973 – $62.70
  • 1983 - $212.70
  • 1993 – $383.90
  • 2003 – $562.10
  • 2006 – $663.10

Source: Poverty lines March 2008 quarter

Why do families in Australia need $663.10 per week to live on, while over 90 % of the population of Nigeria live on less than $2 per day per family member or about $50 per week per family of 4? 

What can we as a developed country do to help those people in absolute poverty?  This includes the indigenous aborigines of Australia.

I decided when I was in college, training to be a teacher, that I could easily afford $1 per day to help another person in need.  So since my very first pay check back in the 1970′s, I have sponsored a child through World Vision. I have helped children go to school, have clean water put in villages, allowed children to be immunized and helped women buy animals and plants to grow and feed their children.

Thinking about our schools, if there are 30 children in a class and 12 months in a year, if each child could donate $1 per month or $12 per year.  It costs about $360 per year to sponsor a child, imagine the number of children, families, villages we could start leading out of poverty!!

This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty


  1. Jenny Said,

    October 14, 2008@ 7:33 pm      

    Wow ! That is a piece of very useful information ! It makes feel that we have to be grateful for what we have !


  2. Zach Younkin Said,

    October 15, 2008@ 2:56 am      

    Hey there!

    Thanks so much for posting these humbling statistics.

    It really is amazing to consider that so much of the world lives off of so little money.

    I would like to invite you to check out Compassion International as a second possibility of child sponsorship.

    You can learn more by visiting http://www.compassion.com .

    Thanks for taking a proactive stance on child poverty!


  3. herky Said,

    October 15, 2008@ 4:03 am      

    this weeks blog looks easy i am gonna try my hardest oh yea one more thign you were one of the people who the riddle right =] comeback and try others

  4. herky Said,

    October 18, 2008@ 12:23 am      

    thank you for the comment but i just wrote what i had seen in life because i used to live in Ecuador and i know how it feels to be poor and have nothing and bearly eat anything for a week so thats why i said this was a easy post for me because i been in this situation before, thank you for the comment again and come check out my blog

  5. asia Said,

    October 18, 2008@ 9:36 am      

    I response to your comment, I would really hope that all of our blooging and talk about the people that live in poverty will help make our future presidents think more about these kinds of things. I mean, for them to vbecome presidant, they need to take on those repsonsiblities and act on what needs to be done.

  6. Nadine Said,

    October 18, 2008@ 11:25 am      

    Hello Miss Wyatt
    Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you like my work, it is really great to hear! But I think your post had alot of meaning, and passion all hidden behind every word.
    I think everyone should join together as one and donate some money to the poor because it just isn’t fair!! Look at Africa and how poor it is… one of the poorest countries in the world that needs help by just anyone who could give help and money… if only the government could give out some money to the people in poverty in their country, then surely everything could change? No one would like to live in poverty, so why aren’t we treating those poor people like we’d want to be treated? We all want to be treated fairly!!
    Thanks for sharing Miss Wyatt, this post definitely made the readers think, and maybe even made others change their mind..

  7. karaf09 Said,

    October 22, 2008@ 4:00 am      

    Well chances are that most of your students aren’t being as carefull as they can or should be. Ive talked to some people about myspace and they sais ” well theres so many people out there theres a low chance that could happen to me”. What my teacher did was pulled up all of our myspace profiles and showed our class. So we could all see who was being carefull and who wasn’t

  8. alex Said,

    October 22, 2008@ 4:19 am      

    Hi Ms. Wyatt! Thank you for always commenting on my blog. I love how you always take the time to reply to our comments and I think it is great how you put up links to our blogs on the poverty posts. You also always take the time to fully explain our competition post directions and give great details to help us. Thank you for putting all of this time into your blog just for us.



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