Sometimes people ask if their donations are actually making a difference. After all, governments and mega-philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates are giving billions of dollars to countries around the world to help the poor. Why then is there still poverty in the world? Is any of it making a difference?
The Short Answer is Yes! As you can see in the graphs below, extreme poverty and its associated symptoms has dramatically improved over the last decades. This is in no small part due to the immense generosity displayed from people all over the world. People like you.
Did you know that between 1987 and 2013 extreme poverty has actually decreased from 35% to under 11% worldwide?
Likewise, world hunger has decreased in almost all regions in the world from 2000 to 2017. What is particularly encouraging is the fact that many populous countries have reduced hunger by 50% or more. In many African countries, hunger has decreased by 25% to 50%.
Life expectancy continues to rise globally. Note the increase in life expectancy in Africa – which has increased by almost 10 years over the last decade!
And finally, child mortality has continued to fall over the last 2 decades.
So What Now?
Incredible progress has been made over the last few decades when it comes to reducing extreme poverty. Does that mean we’re done? Far from it.
The reality is that there are still millions of people who go to bed hungry and children who are malnourished. Many more have also never heard that Jesus loves them. As Christians, this means we have to continue the Great Commandments and Great Commission that Christ gave us.
Also, it is important to always remember that behind the numbers and statistics are real people. The families still in poverty are not aware that millions of others have escaped. They are still struggling with the daily reality that they cannot provide enough food for their children, or scrape enough wealth to send their kids to school, or rebuild after a disaster has destroyed everything.
Your donations make a difference for that family. And the next one. And the next one. We may never be able to eradicate poverty completely. But no matter how big or small your donation is, it is having an impact for a family desperately in need.