When the U.S. became an independent nation in 1776, on average, Americans were about 4 times richer than the people of the world’s poorest countries. Today, we are 100 times richer. People in most countries do not have access to basic things that Americans take for granted. For example: • Every year, 11 million children die before their fifth birthday from chronic hunger and related diseases.
• More than 1 million people a year die from malaria, a preventable disease that has been virtually eradicated in rich countries.
• In India and Pakistan, fewer than half of adult women can read.
• In Ecuador, only one in four poor families has access to running water.
• In Kenya, only 12% of roads are paved, making it hard for farmers and manufacturers to sell their products in their own markets, let alone in global markets.