Why focus on extreme poverty?

Why focus on extreme poverty?

The Life You Can Save uses the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to define extreme poverty, offering a nuanced understanding of its multifaceted nature. By considering dimensions like health, education, and living standards, and using indicators such as malnutrition, childhood mortality, educational access, and sanitation, we gain insight into where and how extreme poverty affects individuals most severely. Those experiencing extreme poverty are identified as deprived in a third or more of these essential indicators.

When considering these indicators, it is clear that we should do everything we can to create healthy environments where nobody has to face these deprivations. One way to consider this is by thinking about what we would do if we had the opportunity to save a child’s life. Most of us would do so without a moment’s hesitation. If we saw a small girl drowning in a pond in front of us, we would do everything possible to save this child’s life. Most of us, too, would readily agree that any inconvenience this action would pose to us would matter far less than the value we place on the life of the drowning child. This thought experiment underscores the significance of proactive, impactful giving. It urges us to recognize the power we hold to alleviate suffering and transform lives. By strategically directing resources toward high-impact interventions, we can give people the opportunity to lead the kind of lives they desire and value. Whether it’s supporting sustainable agriculture, helping girls get an education or funding healthcare initiatives, individuals can make tangible, lasting change.

In confronting extreme poverty, we must acknowledge its diverse causes, from environmental challenges to systemic injustices. However, by embracing a high-impact giving mindset and leveraging evidence-based solutions, we can work together to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

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About the author:

Matias Nestore

Matias Nestore is passionate about ways in which public policy and international development can become more equitable and effective by using evidence and amplifying the voices of those impacted. After studying education and international development at the University of Cambridge, Matias acted as research and impact officer and chief learning officer at Shaping Horizons, an incubator for social enterprises. He has worked as a researcher and project manager on initiatives and with organizations in the UK, Tunisia, Italy, and Argentina.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.