A Dollar A Day

A Dollar A Day

Chines construction worker counting wages
  • A Dollar A Day

    • Part One
      Poverty was a key issue in the recent elections in Kenya and the unrest that followed.
    • Part Two
      In Peru, women get one dollar a day for vaccinating and sending their children to school.
    • Part Three
      In India, more people are surviving into their old age, and many live in deep poverty.
    • Part Four
      In Ghana, families struggle to find the money to fund their children's education.
    • Part Five
      In China, rural families are struggling to gain any benefit for sacrificing land for city jobs.

Less than a dollar a day is a phrase we are all familiar with, but what does it really mean?

Almost half the world's population lives on less than a dollar a day, but the statistic fails to capture the humiliation, powerlessness and brutal hardship that is the daily lot of the world's poor.

In this series, Mike Wooldridge looks at what it's really like to have to live on a dollar a day and how it can mean different things in different countries, and asks whether the global target of halving world poverty by 2015 can really be achieved.

It isn't all about desperation and gloom, though: Mike meets people of incredible energy and determination, living in vibrant communities and having a diversity of experiences.

Part Five: China

China has succeeded in lifting millions out of poverty and is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving dollar a day poverty.

The economic boom has drawn millions of rural migrant workers from all over China into cities such as Beijing in search of a better life.

Many now work in the construction sector or as domestic workers, and the money they earn supports their families in poorer provinces.

Weng Yueshing earns a basic salary of 800 Yuan a month (about $114) working in an estate agent office in the town of Changping, selling properties he can only dream of affording to rich clients.

His salary has to support his parents and jobless younger brother back in the village.

Once his family had land and made a reasonable living from farming and work at the state enterprises or factories.

But now the Iron Rice Bowl has been smashed and they are faced with a far more insecure life.

Along with other villagers, they are now struggling to get compensation for their land, which was sold off for development by a corrupt local official.

Mike Wooldridge reports on the current situation in China.

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