What Is Poverty

How Can We Change Extreme Poverty Definition?

The World Bank’s extreme poverty definition is anyone living on less than $2.15 a day.[1] The $2.15 rate is a recent change by the World Bank; it was formerly considered anyone living on less than $1.25 a day. This change reflects the World Bank’s new way of finding the global poverty level. It used to be determined by averaging the national poverty lines of the world’s poorest countries, but that would mean there would always be people in extreme poverty since each country will always identify some of their people as poor. The World Bank decided to overcome this issue by raising that rate to $2.15 to reflect a rise in the price of goods worldwide. This compromise makes the goal of ending poverty more reachable.[2]

Currently, about 10 percent of the world’s population is under the $2.15 rate, which is about 700 million people globally. While this is great progress from 29 percent of the world’s population in 1995, solving poverty is still far from over. Half of the people living in poverty are children, and about 75 percent of those kids are living in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.[3]

Therefore, GFA World’s mission in Africa and Asia is incredibly important. Sub-Saharan Africa has been seeing improvement as well, from 59 percent of its population living in poverty in 1996 to 41 percent of the population in more recent years.[4] While this is great progress, the population growth in Africa means that the total number of people in poverty is actually higher than it was then.

Kalyani had battled winter for years. Her body swelled when the cold hit her skin, and no one could quite figure out why. It possibly could have been her kidneys—she’d been diagnosed with kidney problems—but her father couldn’t afford any medical tests or treatments without selling everything. He was a day laborer, one of the millions of people worldwide living on less than $2.15 a day, and medical treatment would push his family deeper into poverty. Kalyani’s doctor had told her to keep her body covered in winter, or she could become even sicker, but she only had a flimsy shawl to protect her. There was no central heating or even a space heater in her house. Kalyani went to Bible school and began working with GFA World, sharing God’s love with those around her despite her health issues. Kalyani’s field leader eventually surprised her with a knit sweater, which would keep her warm in her ministry moving forward.[5]

Even something as small as a sweater can change someone’s life for the better. With small and big acts like this, GFA World is changing the outlook and future of the impoverished around the world. Consider joining this effort by donating to GFA and changing the lives of the poor.

Learn more about what is poverty

[1] “Poverty.” World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview. Accessed November 14, 2022.
[2] Hoy, Chris. “The Definition of Extreme Poverty Has Just Changed—Here’s What You Need to Know.” ODI. https://odi.org/en/insights/the-definition-of-extreme-poverty-has-just-changed-heres-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed November 15, 2022.
[3] “9 World Poverty Statistics that Everyone Should Know.” Lifewater. https://lifewater.org/blog/9-world-poverty-statistics-to-know-today. January 28, 2020.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “A Miraculous Sweater Changed Her Life.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/miraculous-sweater-changes-life-wfr20-11. November 2020.