Poverty in Africa

GFA’s Mission to Address Poverty in Africa

While the overall rate of poverty in Africa is dropping in recent years, the progress is much slower than in the rest of the world. The situation there remains truly dire.

Africa is the poorest continent on the planet; twenty-eight of the world’s poorest countries are located in Africa, and almost half of Africa’s population—just around 47 percent—are below the global poverty line of living on $1.90 a day.[1] Many of these people don’t have access to clean water, food or shelter. One in four people in sub-Saharan Africa is malnourished. This is one of the world’s highest concentrations of hungry people, equal only to populations in parts of Asia.[2] Compounding these problems is that two in five African adults are illiterate, making it difficult for them to find higher-paying jobs, or any jobs besides manual labor.[3] Africa also has little access to proper healthcare, leading to 1.6 million deaths from preventable and treatable illnesses, like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, in 2015 alone.[4] With an ever-growing African population, it is important for GFA World to help those living in Africa to break the devastating cycle of poverty.

The mission to help the parts of Africa in poverty is not a simple one, but GFA has forty years of experience with poverty relief and Gospel ministry in Asia. This has helped us to effectively plan and move forward with starting work in Africa. This work includes addressing the major African water crisis with Jesus wells, providing a healthcare ministry that distributes vitamins and supplements, and making sure that children are able stay in school. All this is done in the name of Jesus.

Education is one of the best, most effective ways to break out of the poverty cycle because it opens doors to future opportunities that are unavailable to the uneducated.[5]

Sub-Saharan Africa currently has 32 million children, mostly girls, who are not in school.[6] Although sacrificing a child’s future for the immediate relief of poverty woes doesn’t seem worth it, some families have no choice. GFA’s Child Sponsorship Program seeks to help make it possible for parents to keep their children in school and show their parents the life changing benefits of proper education.

Another proven method for alleviating poverty—and a way to meet the pressing need for food—is the gift of income-generating farm animals.

GFA World gives chickens, goats, pigs or cows which can permanently change families’ lives. These animal gifts not only provide meat, eggs or dairy for the family to use and sell, but they also produce offspring which can be sold or given to others in the community. Additionally, they can help with plowing and fertilization of farmland.[7] Just a few animals can change the trajectory of poverty in Africa.

To address the problem of poverty in Africa, facts and statistics will only go so far. An outsider looking in may not understand the full scope of a family or community’s needs. Therefore, GFA World, having recently begin ministry in Africa, is training national missionaries who are from Africa to reach their own people for God. National missionaries know the people, the culture, and the ins and outs of the society, making them more effective than a western missionary might be.[8] Not only that, but national missionaries know the causes of poverty in Africa firsthand. They see and experience the overpopulation problem. They know all about the harsh, dry African climate, which leads to droughts, disease and floods. GFA’s national missionaries have lived through and experienced all these issues that exacerbate and prolong the cycles of poverty.[9]

As GFA World continues to establish its ministry in Africa, it will take a lot of resources and people. Running the child sponsorship program alone takes a great deal of money and many workers, and that is just one of the many ministries they have planned. Combatting the problem of poverty in Africa will take time and energy, so please pray as GFA World uses the multi-pronged strategy of education, clean water wells, healthcare and income-generating animals to help as many people as possible to break the cycle of poverty.

Consider donating toward this major effort to help people in Africa and Asia. Even something small, like a couple of chickens, can make a world of difference for an impoverished family or a whole community.

Learn more about war on poverty

[1] Degn, Emily. “15 Facts about Poverty in Africa.” The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/15-facts-about-poverty-in-africa. April 6, 2018.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Pheage, Tefo. “Dying from Lack of Medicines.” UN: Africa Renewal. https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2016-march-2017/dying-lack-medicines. December 2016-March 2017.
[5] “Why Education is Key to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.” Compassion. https://www.compassion.com.au/blog/why-education-is-key-to-breaking-the-cycle-of-poverty. May 19, 2022.
[6] “40 per cent of children in Eastern and Southern Africa are not in school.” UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/40-cent-children-eastern-and-southern-africa-are-not-school. July 27, 2021.
[7] Holt, Palmer. “A Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals.” GFA Special Report. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/solutions-poverty-farm-animals. November 30, 2021.
[8] “National Missionaries.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/sponsor/why-national-missionaries. Accessed October 29, 2022.
[9] Degn, Emily. “15 Facts about Poverty in Africa.” The Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/15-facts-about-poverty-in-africa. April 6, 2018.