Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim — or a follower of any of the other great faiths — a concern for the world’s poor is an inescapable part of our religious mission.
But where do we start? What are the really crucial issues that the world’s needy people are facing today?
Veteran journalist Dale Hanson Bourke is here to help with two terrific guidebooks for discussion groups. In both books, she starts by reassuring us that we are not alone if we feel confused. She points out that most of us are confused about many of the most basic issues concerning global poverty.
That’s understandable. These problems are complex. And, our news media increasingly focus on local issues and ignore the larger world. So, we’re not getting a lot of help from the news media.
What’s important, she tells us, is that we get ourselves up to speed in a hurry with reliable information, because lives are at stake around the world.
Both of Dale’s new books are called, “The Skeptic’s Guide,” because any of us who have participated in congregational discussion groups know that some folks always show up for these discussions with very skeptical questions about whatever issues we raise in the group. Dale welcomes that kind of sharp questioning and organizes the answers to hundreds of these questions in a colorful, easy-to-read format.
So, today, let’s test ourselves on how much we already know about these issues.
Below, you’ll find 10 questions based on data shared in these two new books.
Try to answer all 10. Then, click on the link at the
end of the questions — and the correct answers will pop up.
If you’re a daily subscriber by
Email (you can sign up for free on the right-hand side of our site),
we’re sorry that you don’t get this Click-to-See-the-Answers feature in
your Email versions. So, if you’re reading this via Email — PLEASE, don’t read too far ahead today.
INTRIGUED by today’s subject? Well, if you click on the book covers, you can read a fuller review and consider
buying a copy through our Amazon-related store. These 10 questions are just a tiny
sampling to whet your appetite for the fascinating material in these books.
THE 10 QUESTIONS:
1.) What portion of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day?
Choices: Half. A third. A quarter. A tenth.
2.) How much of the U.S. government’s annual budget is foreign aid to fight poverty?
Choices: 24 percent. 18 percent. 11 percent. Less than 1 percent.
3.) The 47 African countries south of the Sahara Desert are not densely populated, overall, yet little global progress has been made in helping this region overcome HIV/AIDS. What percentage of all HIV/AIDS-infected persons in the world live in this particular part of the globe?
Choices: 70 percent. 50 percent. 33 percent. 25 percent.
4.) Great progress has been reported in combating tuberculosis. As of 2005, the latest complete data available, how many people died that year due to TB?
Choices: 2,000,000. 1,000,000. 500,000. 10,000.
5.) According to the latest UNICEF data, how many children die each day of “preventable causes,” a list that includes malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition and lack of clean water?
Choices: 30,000. 18,000. 9,000. Nearly 1,000.
6.) How many Child Soldiers (children forced to serve in militias and rebel groups) are there in the world?
Choices: 300,000. 100,000. 50,000. 10,000.
7.) How much of the water on the Earth, including ice, is fresh water?
Choices: 31 percent. 19 percent. 10.5 percent. 2.5 percent.
8.) According to the Commitment to Development Index — which ranks countries based on 7 categories of assistance to the world’s poorest nations — rank these four countries from Most to Least helpful:
Choices: Norway. Australia. U.S. Japan.
9.) In 2004, the latest available year of data, how much money did religious groups, charities and other nonprofits raise to help the poor in the developing world?
Choices: $7 billion. $5 billion. $2 billion. Less than $50 million.
10.) Answer Yes or No: Overall, has there been progress in reducing global poverty since the mid-1990s?
When you think you’ve got all the answers, CLICK on the link below in the online version of this
quiz, and the ANSWERS will pop up!
Ready? CLICK for the ANSWERS below …
HERE are THE ANSWERS:
2.) Less than 1 percent.
3.) 70 percent.
4.) 2,000,000. Although largely eliminated in the developed world; TB remains a serious killer in developing countries.
7.) Only 2.5 percent.
8.) They were listed in their correct order: Norway, Australia, U.S., Japan.
9.) $7 billion. These donations are a major source of international aid, Dale Hanson Bourke argues.
10.) Yes, there is progress and there is hope, Dale Hanson Bourke concludes. Our efforts do matter. Many improvements have been made in reducing poverty and increasing levels of health and education around the globe, she reports.
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