World Consequences of Financial Crisis – Bad News for the Poor
As I’ve have watched the financial crisis & turmoil here in the U.S. I have been concerned about its affect on the rest of the world church and the poor who have never enjoyed the prosperity we have here, even if that’s been a prosperity built on the illusion of easy credit and the weight of debt. Whatever gains have been made in developing nations are fast being wiped out. Here’s some conclusions drawn from relief and aid groups:
The consequences of the 1st World financial melt-down for the developing nations include rising unemployment, poverty and hunger: an extra 50 million people trapped in absolute poverty, with the number expected to rise to 90 million; and the total number suffering from hunger already up by 75 million to nearly a billion people, rising for the first time in nearly two decades. The World Bank estimates that an additional 200,000 to 400,000 babies will die this year because of the drop in growth. The number of people living on less than $1.25 a day is expected to be about 90 million higher by the end of 2010 because of the effects of the financial crisis.
New estimates suggest that slower economic growth owing to the current economic crisis will trap 46 million more people than expected on less than US$1.25 a day. The World Bank also estimates that an additional 1.4–2.8 million children will die between now and 2015 if the crisis continues unaddressed. But child and infant mortality is not the only danger. Experience from previous economic crises (such as the 1997 East Asian Financial Crisis, Peru in the late 1980s, the Argentine crisis of 2000 etc.), suggests there are likely to be increases in: child illness; child labour and exploitation; violence against children, women and other forms of abuse. Alongside this are: declines in school attendance and the quality of education; nurture, care and emotional wellbeing.
Clearly this means more suffering by those without. I am convinced God is shaking the economies of the world to reveal how our pride and self-sufficiency in wealth have become our god and to expose our spiritual bankruptcy that builds “church” on everything but the truth of his word and the power of his grace and Spirit. Here we find our desperate need for him and find him all sufficient for all that we require. Its a call to the “1st World” church to re-orient its giving and spending priorities.