Extreme Poverty and Homelessness

According to the United Nations, extreme poverty means living on $1.25 or less. 33% of the world’s population lives on less than $1.25 per day and in minimal shelters. Around 1 billion of these are children and infants. 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

Illness and disease spread like wildfire in slums; in the Kibera slum in Kenya, HIV infection is twice the national average, and diarrhea is the leading killer of children under five.

Source: The Borgen Project, September 2013

A Basic Human Right Unmet

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, and housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Source: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25

Lack of Housing is a Barrier to Education

The stress of a poor living situation can negatively affect development and the ability to learn.

Lack of housing for teachers creates an imbalance of educational opportunity for children in rural areas in developing countries.

Social and cultural barriers deny children from slums the opportunity to receive an education. Many children never receive any formal education and few complete a primary education.

Source: The Borgen Project, September 2013

Homelessness Following Disasters

Nearly all those made homeless by natural disasters in the world—97.7% of the total—are from developing countries. Since 1980, 138 million people in those countries have been affected. The numbers are growing year by year. The poor are particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless following a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life.

Source: The World Bank, “Doing More for Those Made Homeless by Natural Disasters”