Social & Economic Injustice

Socially and economically, we have created great disparities of wealth. A minority of the world's population (17%) consume most of the world's resources (80%), leaving almost 5 billion people to live on the remaining 20%. As a result, billions of people are living without the very basic necessities of life - food, water, housing and sanitation.

Specifically, 1.2 billion (20%) of the world population now lives on less that $1/day, another 1.8 billion (30%) lives on less than $2/day, 800 million go to bed hungry every day, and 30,000 - 60,000 die each day from hunger alone. The story is the same when it comes to other necessities like water, housing, education etc. On the flip side, we have an increasing accumulation of wealth and power, where the world's 500 or so billionaires have assets of 1.9 trillion dollars, a sum greater than the income of the poorest 170 countries in the world.

The image below is from a 1989 UNDP report (a bit old). It shows the unequal distribution of world income and illustrates why 3 billion people on this planet have no recourse to the very basic necessities of life.

The following table from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) shows that there are millions of people living without basic necessities like food, education, water and sanitation.




UN Food and Agriculture Association -
     State of Food Insecurity 2003

Social Watch -
     Social Watch - Flash based development indicators