Human Suffering General Intro

The following numbers can be rather disheartening. However, they are generally all much better than 20, 50, or 100 years ago, so significant advances have been made.

There is a movement called Effective Altruism that examines which charities help to create the most effective solutions. Sometimes donating to one of these is 100 to 1000 times more effective than other charities. Will subsequently post more on this.

The following is just a start to help give an overview of the situation. It is not meant to be all encompassing. So please do add more info and correct these numbers if you feel they are significantly inaccurate.


According to recent data, 736 million still live on less than $1.90 a day—the global extreme poverty line set by The World Bank.

These figures refer to the number of people existing on a daily total consumption of goods and services—whether earned or home-grown—comparable to the amount of goods and services that can be bought in the United States for $1.90.

Of the world’s 28 poorest countries, 27 are in Sub-Saharan Africa, all with poverty rates above 30 percent.

Hunger and Nutrition

Chronic malnutrition threatens the health and development of a third of the world’s population — especially pregnant women and children.

Micronutrient malnutrition is the leading cause of preventable intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world.

Poor nutrition in the first three years of a child’s life can stunt their growth — a condition associated with impaired cognitive ability, and reduced school and work performance. Nearly half of all under-five deaths in the world are due to malnutrition.

Preventable Diseases

5.4 million children under five dying every year, with over half of those deaths due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions,

Malaria kills over 261,000 children every year — the equivalent of a jumbo jet carrying only kids crashing every single day. There’s a medicine that can protect them for the entire season — and it only costs US$4.25. One $2 insecticide-treated bednet would help keep children safe for three years.

Clean Water and Sanitation

Globally, 2.2 billion people still don’t have access to a safely managed water source — and there are 2 billion people with no basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.

Every year, over 829,000 people die from diarrhoea caused by unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Over a third of those deaths are children under five.


Nearly 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Every additional year of education for women of reproductive age decreases child mortality by 9.5%.

More to follow….