Could you live on $1.90 a day?

In Charleston, South Carolina, where a bus ride is two dollars for a one-way trip and the cheapest apartments go for hundreds of dollars a month, the idea of living on $1.90 a day is hard to swallow.

“You can think of it as extreme poverty,” said Chris Elias, president for global development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, during his keynote speech at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Global Health Week conference.

In his talk before faculty members, staff and students, Elias said around nine percent of the world’s population is living under the international poverty line of about $1.90. But that’s actually good news. The rate of people in that category was once as high as 35 percent.

“Our vision is a world where every person has the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life. All lives have equal value,” he said.

The foundation Elias works for attributes the drop in global poverty to charitable giving and the hard work people have done to improve their situations. In his speech, Elias also emphasized the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors and disciplines within academic centers such as MUSC. Click here to read more.