Africa = 15% of world’s population + 20% of world’s land mass + diverse and substantial natural resources = the poorest people on the earth ?
Merrill Cook of Policymic.com has developed an interactive map that enables country to country comparison in seven key areas starting with health, economics and education. When using the map it is important to bear in mind that the numbers have gone through a series of averaging and scaling and that the data for conflict is based on the last 40 years. However the graphic does highlight the huge inequalities that exist, the chronic lack of basic services that people endure, poor government but on a more optimistic note the progress that some countries are making. Its not all war and famine but we know that much more could be done through reforming the structures of international trade and taxation.
Meet Jack. She is a single mum who lives in Southend, Essex. Child care demands resulted in quitting her job with the Fire Service and taking benefit while she applies for other jobs.
But, while you wait for a job, how do you cope with the challenges of living off a £10 a week food budget? Well, I’ll let Jack describe this journey in her own words, for last year she decided to blog about her experiences in a post entitled ‘Hunger hurts‘.
And then something remarkable happened. She re-discovered her interest in home economics and started sharing, through her blog, her recipes for making nutritious meals for little more than a few pounds. Interest in her blog posts have now seen her recipes handed out by food banks and Penguin have signed her up to write a recipe book. She has spoken in Parliment on food poverty, attended the G8 Summit as part of the IF campaign and been interviewed by Oxfam for a report on food banks.
You can discover more about Jack through her blog and this article in the Guardian.
Dr John Sentamu claims that the ‘scale of low pay in Britain is a national scandal’ and yesterday he took up the chair of the Living Wage Commission, a 12 month investigation into the future of the Living Wage.
The Commission wants to hear from you if you are paid less than the Living Wage (£8.55 in London, £7.45 elsewhere). Tell the Commission how low pay affects your life by completing a simple form.
Millions of people across the country will get up today, leave their families and travel to work to carry out jobs that we all depend on. They will care for people, serve us food, clean the spaces that we all use and share. They will do more than a fair day’s work, but they won’t get a fair day’s pay! Dr John Sentamu
INFO: A Living Wage is defined as a wage set to ensure a basic but acceptable standard of living.
During the two days that the G8 meet in Northern Ireland, $2.2 billion dollars in illicit flows will have haemorrhaged from developing countries into tax havens and developing-country land one and a half times the size of Manhattan will be sold off to foreign investors.
I’ve seen the devastation that hunger causes to communities in my position as an Oxfam Ambassador. That’s why we have started a petition on Change.org calling on David Cameron to take action on tax at this month’s G8 and ensure large companies don’t make the poorest suffer. Bill Nighy
As the World holds it’s breath waiting for news on Nelson Mandela we thought you might like to listen to the speech that he gave in London calling for us to be ‘the generation‘ that breaks the binding chains of poverty.
Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom!