WILLS POINT, TX – Earlier this month, Gospel for Asia released a special report entitled “Poverty: Public Enemy #1.” Author Palmer Holt of InChrist Communications shared the almost incomprehensible fact that some 736 million people worldwide earn less than $1.90 a day, less than many of us spend for our favorite morning latte.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Many humanitarians like Bill Gates agree that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for the eradication of poverty is doable. Insights from the Borgen Project, however, indicate that awareness of 736 million people is just the tip of a giant iceberg. More on that after these Borgen Project revelations:
- “Almost 3 billion people with no access to toilets, and almost 1 billion lacking clean drinking water.
- “The poorest 20 percent of the world’s children twice as likely as the richest 20 percent to be stunted by poor nutrition and to die before their fifth birthday.
- “2.7 million newborns worldwide die within their first month of life.
- “161 million children do not attend primary school.”
These are four hidden parts of the poverty iceberg. But wait. There’s more.
The Hidden Iceberg
It is the hidden part that sinks the ships. Only those who have the initiative to dig deeper can see through the frailty of the UN SDGs.
According to the report, the United Nations defines “no poverty” as less than three percent of the global population surviving on less than $1.90 per day.
The UN itself expects the world population to grow from its current 7.3 billion to 8.5 billion in 2030. Three percent of 8.5 billion is 255 million.
That is not the eradication of poverty. It is a mere reduction in global poverty of only 34 percent!
The Whole Iceberg
Two quotes from Palmer Holt’s expose put a balanced perspective on the poverty iceberg.
“The fact is that poverty is this massive, incredibly difficult problem. There is no silver bullet.”
“Small steps. Big change.”
Taken together, these statements phrase poverty in the same context as when Jesus reminded his disciples and friends gathered together at Bethany,
“For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good.” – Mark 14:7
The world reckons that we can eradicate poverty, but Jesus reveals that we cannot. Nonetheless, He also points us toward caring for the poor. He categorically stated that eradicating poverty is not going to happen on a global scale. We can easily infer that He saw ministering to the poor would be most effective on a local and individual level where small steps can bring about big changes – not the least of which is the changes that happen in people who become aware of the love and hope available in Christ.
We encourage you to read the entire report. You will begin to understand how the work of Gospel for Asia and other faith-based organizations are generating big changes by taking multiplied small steps to help lift individuals and families out of their desperate need and into sustainable fruitful, productive lives.
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