A Dollar A Day

A Dollar A Day

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.

Ayacucho, in the Peruvian Andes, was the birthplace of the Maoist guerrilla Shining Path Movement (Sendero Luminoso) which waged a bitter conflict against the government during the 1980s and 90s.

Thousands lost their lives or simply disappeared. Others, such as Gerarda Castro Ramirez, fled the violence, moving into the city.

Today, ten years after the conflict ended, Ayacucho is one of the poorest areas of the country and Gerarda and her ten children live in searing poverty.

Mike Wooldridge reports on a new government programme, which attempts to help the poor by giving women the equivalent of a dollar a day in cash in return for sending their children to school and getting them vaccinated.

  • 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.