Living Below The Extreme Poverty Line

25/11/13

Elysium employee, Richard Hann has participated in the Global Poverty Project initiative 'Live Below the Line' for the past three years to raise funds and awareness for the 1.2 billion people that live in extreme poverty.

Extreme poverty was defined by the World Bank in 2005 as having to survive on less than US$1.25 per day to cover all your daily needs, such as food, medicine, shelter, clothing, education, transport etc.  It sounds impossible, yet 1.2 billion people live like this. 

It is easy to think that US$1.25 would buy a lot in poverty stricken countries.  However, this has been adjusted for purchasing power parity to illustrate how much (or little) people living in extreme poverty would have to survive on if they lived in developed countries. 

To highlight the difficulties faced by these people, Richard took the challenge to live on £1 a day to cover all of his food and drink for 5 days. 

"Each year I do this, it doesn't get any easier.  By the end of the 5 day period, I felt I had very little energy and even when it came to eating, I had little desire to eat what I had bought at the beginning of the week as it wasn't very appetising…and I was able to spend my entire £1 daily budget on food, without regard to all of the other necessities so many others would need to factor in." 

A typical day was:

Breakfast - porridge with water.

Lunch - homemade potato and carrot soup with two slices of (nearly stale) bread.

Dinner - pasta or rice with mixed veg and a sausage.

Drinks - tap water. 

All the money raised is donated to charities supported by the Global Poverty Project, such as The Salvation Army International Development Programmes, to provide those living in extreme poverty with the tools, training and techniques required to help them lift themselves out of extreme poverty.