Struggling to Survive!

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


For decades many world leaders have struggled to eradicate global, grinding poverty. While those efforts have alleviated poverty for millions, the ongoing flood of rapid population growth has undermined and overwhelmed much of this progress to reduce poverty. 

 
The Poorest of These
 
More than a billion of the world’s poorest people do not live by any definition of “live” that nearly all people in developed countries take for granted.
 
 
Starving children in an overpopulated country
 
Instead, these hundreds of millions – incredible and wonderful children of God – struggle just to barely survive! 
 
 

 Hunger in overpopulated India

They struggle every day just to survive!

 

Struggling to Survive -- The Poorest

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


Starving child in an overpopulated nation

They do not have enough food. As a result, many are severely malnourished or starving.

 

 Child scooping dirty water

They do not have enough water. And much of the water they do have is polluted and unsafe.

 

Hungry boy

According to the United Nations the poorest 1.2 billion people struggle in absolute poverty -- and barely survive.


 

Struggling to Survive - Absolute Poverty

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


 

Absolute poverty is a condition of existence so limited by malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, squalid surroundings, high infant mortality and low life expectancy as to be beneath any reasonable definition of human decency

 

Starving children searching for insects to eat

Starving children searching for insects to eat in Sudan.
 
These poorest - who struggle to survive in absolute poverty - are more than the entire world population in 1850!

 

Starving child

 

About 1 out of every 6 people on the planet struggles to exist in this horrific condition.

 

 Starving child sitting in the dirt

What do you think your life would be like if you were this young person?

What do you think this boy’s hopes and dreams are for the future?

 

 

Struggling to Survive -- Existing on less than $2 a day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


Over one third of the world’s people – more than 2 billion – survive on less than $2 a day.  Of course, it’s utterly impossible for Americans to even begin to comprehend this condition of existence. Some of the poorest 2 billion are not struggling as desperately as the poorest of these shown above. But many barely exist on the edge of survival.

Following is a description – only an attempt – to describe what this existence is really like for nearly all of these people:

 

Elderly woman in Bangkok

Elderly woman under a bridge in Bangkok, Thailand
Source: Ronn Aldaman

 

It’s out of the question that any of them will ever have anything like a bank account, pension plan, or insurance policies. They have none of these “safety nets” that most Americans take for granted.
 
They don’t even comprehend the idea of retirement since most will die before they are 55.

 

 

Receiving intravenous fluids in a government hospital in India
Source: Oxfam International

 
They are lucky if they have even the most basic medical care. And they often have to cope with highly crowded, grossly inadequate conditions for the care they do receive.

 People waiting to get registered at a government hospital in India

People waiting to get registered at a government hospital in India
Source: Oxfam International

 

 

 

 

 

Struggling to Survive - On Less than $2 a Day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


 

Women carrying firewood

 

They don’t have a car or other motorized transport. Many must carry heavy loads for long distances.
 
 

Shack

A slum shack in Haiti -- built right on top of a mangrove swamp
Source: le Korrigan

 If they are lucky enough to have a “house,” it will be nothing more than a shack in worse condition than all but the worst American garages.

 
Slum house, Philippines

Slum house in Manila, Philippines

They don’t have any furniture except for one chair and one small table. 
They don’t have gas, oil, propane, or electricity. 
They don’t have a refrigerator, furnace, water heater, or cook stove.
 

 

Struggling to Survive - Less than $2 a Day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


 

Poor Indian Farmer

A poor Indian farmer
Source: Animesh Singh

 
None of them can afford to own any land. If they’re lucky enough to have access to land, they will only be tenant farmers. They will have no more than three acres that they’ll struggle to cultivate with only hand tools.
 
 
Gambian boy farmers
 
Gambian boy farmers tilling very poor soil to grow groundnuts
Source: Gerry Popplestone

 

If the weather during the growing season is good, they can expect only about $300 to $500 in cash crops for the whole year. They’ll have to pay a third of that to the land owner and another tenth to the moneylender.

 

Girl collecting metal scrap in Bangladesh

Small girl collecting metal scrap in a Dhaka, Bangladesh garbage dump

Source: Vipez

 

 

Struggling to Survive on Less than $2 a Day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


They don’t have any books, magazines or newspapers. It would be meaningless because they are illiterate and will never learn to read or write.

Parents cannot afford the fees to send their children to school.
 
The children must work to help support their families.
 
 
Line of hungry children

 

They don’t have any clothing except for a single old shirt and one old pair of jeans. 

If they have any food available, it will be nothing more than a small bag of flour, some sugar, some salt, and a few potatoes, onions, cabbages or dry beans.
 
 
Children playing around an open sewer in Nairobi, Kenya

Children playing around an open sewer in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya
Source: Chris Johnson

 

The only fuel they have for cooking is either firewood or dried cow dung.
 
They don’t have any bathroom. They’ll have to use the local stream, pond, or gutter in the street.

 

 

Struggling to Survive Each Day on Less than $2 a Day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


 

Washing clothes in the Ganges
 

 

They don’t have a washing machine. They’ll wash clothes in the stream or pond where they go to the bathroom.
 
 

Woman filling water jug with dirty water

A woman in Chad fills a bowl with dirty, undrinkable town well water. 

Each week, up to 50% of the children have diarrhea.
Source: Pierre Holtz | UNICEF 

 
They don’t have any safe water. They get their drinking and cooking water from the same stream or pond where they go to the bathroom and wash clothes.

Struggling to Survive Daily on Less than $2 a Day

The primary purpose of population balance is to reduce misery and suffering in the world.


 

In spite of our greatest humanitarian efforts to reduce global poverty in recent years, now there are more people suffering and miserable in the world than there were 25 years ago. That’s primarily because we have failed to humanely and compassionately stop population from increasing and further overshooting our planet’s vital, declining resources -- including oil, fresh water, topsoil and farmland, ocean fish stocks, rainforest and many more.

 
Even massive redistribution of resources would not eliminate the grinding poverty in the world, stop the greatest mass extinction of other species in modern, recorded history, and stop the overshoot and depletion of many vital resources.
 
 
It is crucial that people -- especially those in the so-called developed countries -- understand both the desperate and miserable conditions of existence of the world’s poorest, and that the number of these poor is rising.
 
 
Therefore, to avoid inhumane global catastrophe it is crucial that we compassionately and humanely reduce birth rates around the world so that total population will drift back down to a truly sustainable level.