People from the UK, USA and Australia have been living off £1 a day all this week in aid of charity campaign Live Below the Line.
More than 20,000 people are spending five days living below the UK’s extreme poverty line – a circumstance which is a daily reality for 1.4 billion people worldwide.
Elisha London, UK director for the Global Poverty Project has faith in the campaign’s ability to raise awareness to this situation.
“I believe the challenge does get people to look again at the plight of others around the world. People start thinking, ‘Imagine if your travel and electricity and water had to come out of this too’.”
Participants raise funds to donate to charities such as Christian Fund and Giving Africa. To date, almost £300,000 has been raised and this amount is rapidly increasing. A website set up to promote the cause has a sidebar which calculates in real time donations as they come in and the total amount raised.
Alice Rutter, a Methodist preacher who is taking the challenge, said that proper planning and preparation has been vital to ensure she has enough to eat.
“I managed to get special offers and deals in advance – very poor people might not have the opportunity to do that.
“The other day I rebelled and bought 12 grapes – they were half price but they still cost me 18p. I’ve been having just two at a time, so I’ve still got a few left.”
Unicef - the driving force behind the movement – are extremely pleased with the campaign’s success.
“This movement of passionate people willing and able to make a meaningful difference to those who need it most is making a huge difference in the fight against extreme poverty.”
Approximately 25,000 people die of starvation or hunger-related issues every day. Unicef are hopeful that with the efforts of campaigns like this, these numbers can be dramatically reduced.
Donations can be made via the website: www.livebelowtheline.com