A Way of Life Is Ending. Thank Goodness.

By Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times:

One of my most searing experiences as a reporter occurred in Cambodia, where I met a woman whose daughter had just died of malaria and who was left caring for seven children and grandchildren.

The woman, Nhem Yen, showed me her one anti-malaria bed net and told me how every evening she agonized over which children to squeeze under it — and which ones to leave out and expose to malarial mosquitoes.

That’s the kind of excruciating question that extreme poverty forces on families.

For thousands of generations, a vast majority of humans have lived brief, illiterate lives marked by disease, disability and the loss of children. As recently as 1980, a slight majority of people in the developing world lived in extreme poverty, defined as surviving on less than $1.25 in today’s money.

Yet in a time of depressing news worldwide, about dysfunction and crisis from Syria to our own Congress, here’s one area of spectacular progress.

The share of people in the developing world who live in extreme poverty has been reduced from 1 in 2 in 1980 to 1 in 5 today, according to the World Bank. Now the aim is to reduce that to almost zero by 2030.”

Click here to read the full article.

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