Optimism and World Poverty

One for my Intro students today, as a follow up to recent class discussions on world poverty. Miles Kimball shares one of his students’ posts on the optimistic side of addressing world poverty – that in context, we’ve actually made quite a bit of progress: Here’s Jessica’s money quote:

[…] [P]eople tend to focus on the negative statistics of poverty. Of course the fact that in 2010, 21% of households in developing countries lived below the extreme poverty line ($1.25 per person daily), deserves our attention and is not to be understated. But the usually-overlooked side of the statistic reveals that just 30 years earlier (in 1980) the figure was at 52%. That is quite an astonishing improvement in such a short period of time.

Not that there isn’t much more work to be done. But it’s good to know that in the fact of such a tremendous and wicked problem, not all hope is lost.

EDIT: Here’s an additional recent article on VOX about measuring hunger – and the challenges going forward.


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