Extreme Poverty in Rural Africa

“Hunger, disease, and poverty can lead to global instability and leave a vacuum for extremism to fill. So instead of just managing poverty, we must offer nations and people a pathway out of poverty.

– Former President Barack Obama

The Statistics

736 million people in the world are extreme-poor according to the World Bank. This means that they live on less than $1.90. More than half of the extreme poor reside in Sub-Saharan Africa. While 100 million people escaped extreme poverty between 2012 and 2013, the numbers in of extreme poor in Sub-Saharan Africa is still staggering at 389 million. This is more than the number of extreme poor in all the other regions combined. Between 2013-2015, while the global extreme poverty rate dropped, the rate in Subsahran Afria actually increased.

By 2030, it is estimated nearly 90% of the extremely poor will live in Sub-Saharan Africa

Less than $1.90 a day

736 million

people worldwide

People Living in Extreme Poverty

368 million

in Sub-Saharan Africa

“Poverty is not just lack of money;
it is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.”

Amartya Sen

African children in rural hut

The Human Face of Extreme Poverty

While these numbers speak to the magnitude of global poverty, statistics can’t convey the reality of those facing this daily struggle. What they fail to capture are the crippling effects of hunger, disease and lack of hygiene that perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty. Most importantly, numbers can’t speak to our common humanity and the reality that no matter our culture, income level or geographic location, we all deserve to live with dignity and self-respect.