Belt and Road

Imagine a future where we are all seen as equal, no matter our background, gender or dreams.

A world where compassion and shared responsibility guide us. Where we create shared visions and work together to overcome our challenges. A future where we live in harmony with nature. Where hunger and poverty are no more.

It may seem far-fetched, but if we look at history, there were times when the seemingly impossible was made possible. Now is one of those times. Our world has committed to achieving a far-fetched future by 2030.

Let us remind ourselves that overall, things are getting better. Poverty, hunger and war
have all been steadily declining, and global incomes are steadily rising. There are already methods proven to work, proven to make positive, lasting change. These are the methods that we need to promote collectively.

There’s a broad consensus that the world is falling apart, with every headline reminding us that life is getting worse.

Except that it isn’t. In fact, by some important metrics, 2016 was the best year in the history of humanity. And 2017 will probably be better still.

How can this be? I’m as appalled as anyone. Here take my quiz,
On any given day, the number of people worldwide living in extreme poverty:

A.) Rises by 5,000, because of climate change, food shortages and endemic corruption.

B.) Stays about the same.

C.) Drops by 250,000.

Even Polls have shown that about 9 out of 10 Americans believe that global poverty has worsened or stayed the same. But in fact, the correct answer is C. Every day, an average of about a quarter-million people worldwide graduate from extreme poverty, according to World Bank figures.

Or if you need more of a blast of good news, consider this: Just since 1990, more than 100 million children’s lives have been saved through vaccinations, breast-feeding promotion, diarrhea treatment and more. If just about the worst thing that can happen is for a parent to lose a child, that’s only half as likely today as in 1990.

Global poverty in the early 1980s, more than 40 percent of all humans were living in extreme poverty. Now fewer than 10 percent are. By 2030 it looks as if just 3 or 4 percent will be. (Extreme poverty is defined as less than $1.90 per person per day, adjusted for inflation.)

For nearly all of human history, extreme poverty has been the default condition of our species, and now, on our watch, we are pretty much wiping it out. That’s a stunning transformation that I believe is the most important thing happening in the world today.

There will, of course, be continued poverty of a less extreme kind, smaller numbers of children will continue to die unnecessarily, and inequality remains immense. Oxfam calculated this month that just eight rich men own as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Yet global income inequality is actually declining. While income inequality has increased within the U.S., it has declined on a global level because China and India have lifted hundreds of millions from poverty.

Several mothers worldwide are more desperate in keeping their children alive. And the astonishing thing is that those children, despite severe malnutrition, were all alive, because of improvements in aid and health care.

There’s similar progress in empowering women and in reducing illiteracy. Until the 1960s, a majority of humans had always been illiterate; now, 85 percent of adults are literate. And almost nothing makes more difference in a society than being able to read and write.

Michael Elliott, who died last year after leading the One Campaign, which battles poverty, used to say that we are living in an “age of miracles.” He was right, yet the progress is still too slow, on the value of humanitarian aid.

But in the long history of humanity, this still will likely be the very best year yet.
Remember: The most important thing happening is that, today some 18,000 children who in the past would have died of simple diseases will survive, about 300,000 people will gain electricity and a cool 250,000 will graduate from extreme poverty.

Champion Our Local Successes:

Most of the issues that directly affect people’s lives are local, and local successes can become national when they reach critical mass. We need citizen engagement from the bottom up.

Invest In Long-term Change Processes:

We need to invest in the work of citizen engagement, government transparency and responsiveness worldwide, in order to reach a long-term change processes.

Pass It On:

We need to take more time than usual to acknowledge people. Your graciousness, listening and generosity makes an impact in the lifes of other people.

Source: Sammy Adjei.

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