Global Poverty: There Is Hope
In the face of the staggering statistics on global poverty, it would be easy to become discouraged that no amount of work and good will could make a difference. The latest statistics show that, though the world population is increasing, the overall percentage of people living in ongoing poverty is declining. In 2017, the global poverty rate was 9.1%. One year later, it was down to 8.6%, an equivalent of 28 million people.
This drop in the overall world poverty rate continues from a peak in the mid-1990s, a sign that advocacy, charity, and perseverance in the face of difficulty can change the world. As the World Bank puts it, “There is no silver bullet to ending poverty, and strategies to reach the least well-off must be tailored to each country’s context, taking into account the latest data and analysis and the needs of the people. How the world responds to these major challenges today will have a direct bearing on whether the current reversals in global poverty reduction can be turned around.”
In 2015, the 15 member states of the United Nations issued 17 Sustainable Development Goals that they felt were essential to both developed and developing countries as a way forward for everyone to experience peace and prosperity. Global poverty is number 1 on its list.
Both governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are looking for and implementing strategies that provide individuals and families with ongoing means of income through skills, work, trade, farming, and entrepreneurship. Though issues of health and education play heavily into a person’s poverty status, there is no denying that having a regular source of income provides firm footing to walk out of poverty.
In many countries within Asia for example, poverty has had a foothold in certain regions for centuries, especially in rural areas. For example, in one country, an estimated 256 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. They lack the resources and ready industries that keep people employed in more populated areas. Though many find work in fields or nearby cities, it is often not enough to pay for even the most basic of needs. This leads to making devastating decisions about education, healthcare, and more.
Raina understood this firsthand. Her parents could not afford to keep her in school. After dropping out, she had to join them in the fields nearby. It was all she qualified for, and even with her husband’s income as a mechanic in a city that was hours away, it never completely met their needs. Raina needed another opportunity where her hard work would pay off.
Occasionally, she would join her parents at a nearby church led by GFA World Pastor Taedin. He knew of her struggles, but he also knew of a way to help. As a missionary with GFA, Pastor Taedin is always looking for ways to alleviate the pervasive poverty he sees daily. He works to bring practical solutions alongside the love of Jesus Christ.
For Raina and her family, Pastor Taiden had an idea that would give them a way out of poverty that also built them up mentally and emotionally. He wanted to give them a source of income. Through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog program, Pastor Taiden was able to secure a goat for Raina.
The goat would provide multiple ways for the family to flourish, including providing milk, future meat, and manure fertilizer for crops.
As many organizations have demonstrated, one animal can change the path for a family with next to nothing. ” The small livestock sector has the capacity to provide adequate and reliable supplies of healthy and nutritious food, creating employment opportunities in the whole food chain, empowering rural women and young people, and strengthening households’ financial, physical and social assets,” reports one organization committed to providing sustainable solutions to poverty.
“I wanted to keep goats [in the past],” Raina said, grateful. “But I could not, because of my poor status. … I am very happy to receive a goat. … I will earn enough to maintain my family.”
This simple and affordable gift changed the life of a family, lifting them out of poverty and likely keeping future generations from struggling, too. It is an effective solution to part of the world’s poverty problem, and thousands of people can be a part of this work.
Visit GFA’s From the Stable section of the Christmas Gift Catalog. From pairs of chickens to a water buffalo, givers can choose from a selection of animals that will change the lives of a rural family in Asia. Caring GFA missionaries like Pastor Taiden can then share hope in Christ, while also showing the practical love and compassion of our Lord.
See all the ways you can change lives through the Christmas Gift Catalog at https://www.gfa.org/gift/. A small sacrifice from you can mean survival for someone else. You can be a part of reducing the percentage of those living in poverty worldwide.Learn more about Poverty Mindset
 R. Andres Castaneda Aguilar, Aleksander Eilertsen, Tony Fujs, Christoph Lakner, Daniel Gerszon Mahler, Minh Cong Nguyen, Marta Schoch, Samuel Kofi Tetteh Baah, Martha Viveros, Haoyu Wu, April 2022 global poverty update from the World Bank, World Bank, April 8, 2022. https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/april-2022-global-poverty-update-world-bank#:~:text=The%20global%20poverty%20rate%20(at,people%20between%20the%20two%20years.
 The World Bank Group, “Understanding Poverty, Overview.” https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview#2. Last updated October 14, 2021.
 United Nations, “Sustainable Development Goal #1.” https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal1. Accessed October 4, 2022.
 Upaya Social Ventures, “Why Jobs?” https://www.upayasv.org/why-jobs?gclid=CjwKCAjws–ZBhAXEiwAv-RNL18MJRWyAR4prItcqAbHxX_lwExsTCmX1erCKoTk0UwduYI4Dg95GhoCKpoQAvD_BwE. Accessed October 4, 2022.
 Goat Shatters Mother’s Cycle of Poverty. GFA World News. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/goat-shatters-mothers-cycle-of-poverty-wfr21-13/. December 2021.
 “The Small Livestock Advantage: A Sustainable Entry Point for Addressing SDGs in Rural Areas” IFAD. https://www.ifad.org/documents/38714170/42264619/livestock_advantage.pdf/6e4114ab-5fb7-55c9-f79b-eb779c7214de?t=1619018180658. 2020.
* Cover Photo: “General Photos: Pakistan.” Asian Development Bank. https://www.flickr.com/photos/asiandevelopmentbank/8426639102. June 2, 2010. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)