"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life"

- Nelson Mandela

Today is Blog Action Day -- thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue - poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!

While writing this blog post I thought I'd try and find some statistics on poverty, below is a list of countries where over 50% of the population lives on less than 2 USD a day:

Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

You'll notice that this list is predominantly African nations, but India also stood out to me with no less than 77% of the population living under that 2 USD/day poverty line. That essentially means that for the cost of my flight out there in a couple of days (or a low-end Apple MacBook, HD camcorder, a MAX ticket at full price or less than a CS4 Web Premium license for that matter) can keep a person out of extreme poverty for a year and a half.

This admittedly isn't the complete picture on poverty, if you measure this by the percentage of people that live under the national poverty line set by their government the situation looks a little less bleak.

The theme for this years Blog Action Day reminded me of an entertaining and thought-provoking TED talk by Hans Rosling I recently watched. I thought I'd include it here for you to see.

[flashvideo filename=http://static.videoegg.com/ted/movies/HANSROSLING-2007_high.flv /]

I urge everyone to get involved with todays Blog Action Day and contribute to making poverty history!