Why We Should Care About Poverty

Until recently it was easy for me to ignore poverty. I didn’t see poverty on a regular basis and had never had to experience it first-hand. However, the issue has haunted me since I became a mother and read an article about the death of children in developing countries due to easily treatable and preventable diseases.

Now all I can think about is how I would feel if my child was sick and I was powerless to help even though a fairly inexpensive treatment was available, if my children were hungry and malnourished and I was unable to feed them, or if my family was surrounded by violence and I was unable to protect them. This is reality for millions of women around the world.

Almost half of the people in the world (about 3 billion people) live on less than $2.50 a day. UNICEF estimates that 22,000 children die every day due to poverty-related causes. More than a quarter of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or to have stunted development. More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries lack adequate access to clean drinking water and approximately 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Approximately 1.8 million children die each year due to diarrhea.

As a mother these numbers remind me of how blessed my family is. We are not fortunate merely because of hard work or intelligence. We were fortunate to be born in a country of opportunity and into a family that gave us a good start in life. As a human being these numbers are unacceptable to me and I know that I must do something. As a society we should all be committed to doing something so that no mother has to lose a child merely because she is poor.

*Numbers provided by http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats.

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