Around the world, 3 billion people survive on $2.50 a day or less. Some 2 billion people do not hold a bank account or have access to essential financial services.
Living in poverty means surviving with constrained options and a lack of opportunity to change their plight. For many of us, accessing the resources to address life’s challenges can mean a simple phone call to a bank. But for billions of others, unexpected life events can mean important trade-offs and difficult decisions that can set families back for years.
Many individuals living in the world’s most challenging economies have long been unbanked, living without access to the basic financial tools and opportunities that enable their progress toward better lives.
Furthermore, hundreds of millions of people worldwide live off the electricity grid. They are forced to use polluting and expensive options such as kerosene lamps and charcoal or wood fires for lighting and cooking, which affect their respiratory and eye health.
- Each day, productive hours are cut short.
- Fire hazards are ever present in families’ homes.
- Children cannot study in the evening without light.
- Women and girls are often burdened with collecting firewood and water.
Without the income to sustain themselves, and without access to life-enhancing products, the quality of life of many people remains poor.