Us Before Me

Reference work entry

Poverty is a global problem of enormous magnitude. In her latest book Us Before Me, Patricia Illingworth explores the scope of the problem and the role of the individual in overcoming it.

Poverty is a global problem of enormous magnitude. According to the World Bank, 1.4 billion people live on $1.25 or less a day. Over 1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Not only is there extreme poverty worldwide, there is also vast inequality. The wealthiest 20% of the world’s population control 76% of the world’s goods while 80% have what remains.

There is global homelessness as well. There are over 26 million internally displaced persons living in about 52 countries across the globe. In addition, there are over 10 million refugees. In a world of plenty, we do not care enough about other people to provide for their basic needs, despite the existence of human rights to food, shelter and medicines.

Sometimes we don’t help...


  1. Illingworth, Patricia, Us Before Me. Ethics and Social Capital for Global Well-Being. Basingstoke/New York Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.Google Scholar

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