It is difficult to get our minds and hearts around the state of the world today. The statistics and numbers sometimes numb us and we begin to feel helpless. Instead, we want to allow these realities to move us with God’s compassion and align our hearts with His heart and His purposes in this age.
We can’t change everything yet we want to be moved by the Holy Spirit to engage with Him toward what He is asking of us. Let’s be attentive to His still small voice as we continue to consider the reality of the world today.
What is the situation among the world’s poor today?
- In the last 30 years the developing world has been improving as much as the industrialized world did during the 19th Century
- The number of people living on less than $1 USD a day fell by 400 million since 1970 but was unchanged in the 1990’s
- 1 in 5 people in the world do not have access to basic social services like healthcare, education, clean drinking water and sufficient nutrition
- Women account for 70% of the world’s poor and 2/3’d of the world’s illiterate population
- The nations with the lowest human development ratings include Sierra Leone, Niger, Chad and Mali
How about food?
- Every night 800 million people go to bed hungry, most of these being women and children
- In Africa, 34% is under-nourished, in Asia 16%.
- There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Civil strife and war are the primary cause of hunger
- The same number of people are now undernourished in the west due to eating the wrong kinds of foods as are undernourished in the developing world
- Nations where over half of the population is undernourished include Somalia, Burundi, Afghanistan, Eritrea
Do people have water to drink?
- 55 countries, together consisting of about 1 billion people, lack access to clean water
- The United Nations is saying that wars will be fought in the next 25 years over access to water
- The world is not running out of water. The problem is the combination of water quantity, location and access
- Africa is most at risk due to population growth
How is the world’s health?
- Infectious diseases kill more people every year than natural disasters
- Tuberculosis, a disease once in decline, is now on the rise again
- 50 million people have developed strains of TB now resistant to existing drugs
- Since 1945 over 145 million people have died from HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and malaria
- The developing world suffers from 90% of the disease burden but only has 10% of the global resources which go to health
Are people remaining in their countries or migrating?
- Over 150 million people live outside the country of their birth. This is primarily driven by economic need
- Over 55 million Chinese live outside the China mainland
- 22 million Indians live outside of India
- Migration is generally from the poorer southern nations to the more prosperous north
- People living outside of their homelands send back $75 Billion USD to their home nations each year
- The primary economic unit is the extended family
- The Muslim world is sending people all over the world as Muslim missionaries. They come to new countries as students, scholars and refugees
Question – What is the first feeling you had when reading these facts?