Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Obviously, eradicating poverty is something we’re pretty passionate about here at Compassion!

While there’s definitely a lot of work still to be done, there are also several things we can celebrate in the fight against poverty.

Here are three amazing ways we’ve made progress in the eradication of poverty:

1. The number of people living in extreme poverty was cut by more than two thirds between 1990 and 2015.

An overhead shot of a family enjoying a meal together.

In the year 2000, the world set a goal of reducing the 1990 extreme poverty rate by half by the year 2015. We reached that goal in 2010—five years early.

According to the most recent estimates from 2015, 10 per cent of the world’s population live on less than $1.90 per day. That’s down from nearly 36 per cent in 1990 (World Bank).

2. Increased access to mobile phones has enabled people living in poverty to access credit, banking, and other important networks that have helped lift them out of poverty.

In 2016, the number of mobile cellular connections in the world surpassed the global population (World Bank). While that doesn’t yet mean that every person in the world is connected to a mobile network, it does reflect the increased ability of people living in poverty to connect to technological resources that have helped improve their quality of life.

A young Kenyan girl looks down at a mobile phone.

In low- and middle-income countries, cell phones, SIM cards and mobile connections are relatively inexpensive, and serve as key ways for people to grow their small businesses and connect with loved ones.

3. More than seven million fewer children under the age of five are dying each year.

According to the World Health Organization, the total number of under-5 deaths worldwide has declined from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.3 million in 2018. Since 1990, the global under-5 mortality rate has dropped by 59%, from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 39 in 2018.

A mother holds a toddler. They are both smiling. They are standing against a rust orange wall.

At Compassion, we see this progress first-hand through our Survival initiatives around the world. We work with pregnant and new moms to ensure that their babies have a thriving and healthy start to life, so that they can grow into all that they were created to be!

Let’s celebrate—and get to work

This is progress worth celebrating, and it’s progress that can motivate us to finish the job of kicking extreme poverty out the door!

Boys playing on a playground.

We’re thankful for the countless people and organizations that have been part of this progress and continue today to do important work in the fight against poverty. We know we’re just one organization in this fight and as we do our part, we’re cheering for our friends and partners who are doing theirs.

Today, more than two million children in Compassion’s program around the world are being given the opportunity to escape poverty and step into lives full of promise and potential.

Will you join us?

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Written by: Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa is Compassion Canada's Manager of Content and Public Relations, telling stories that inspire and equip Jesus followers to live compassionate lifestyles. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development.