Lights Out in the Third World

There are a reported 1.5 billion people living without electricity in the world. That’s about 20-25% of all living humans. A majority of this takes place in “Third World” Countries, also known as Developing Countries. Countries such as Africa and India have some of the highest numbers of people living without electricity.  Electricity was invented over 100 years ago, and still there is this large amount of people without the ability to use what many people take for granted. Electricity is vital to everyday living stretching from listening to the radio for entertainment, to calling a hospital for urgent care. Something that seems so standard to most people would be luxury to 25% of the world. Without electricity, businesses can’t even be run, which is reflected in the poor economy of the area. Many of these areas of poverty live without other commodities such as clean water, nutritious food, and vaccines. This results in a high death rate for their population, which includes a large amount of children.

There are many organizations trying to get Developing Countries on their feet by supplying sources of energy, as well as food, clean water, and vaccines. On the energy front, a popular idea to give electricity to these countries is solar power. Prices are falling for solar panels and low-power LED lights, resulting in an easier way to supply electricity to the world. In turn, this can boost the local economies by starting up businesses and powering first aid centers. There are other organizations like UNICEF that support impoverished nations by helping to prevent malnutrition and the spread of diseases. By increasing efforts to support Developing Countries, electricity can be supplied to much of the 25% within a few decades.

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