* Around the world, 1.2 billion persons live on a dollar a day, or less. * Tens of millions of children worldwide are locked out of school because their parents are unable to afford school fees. * More than a million children die a year form diarrhea, because their families lack access to clean drinking water. The 497 billionaires in 2001 registered a combined wealth of $1.54 trillion, according to IPS, well over the combined gross national products of all the nations of sub-Saharan Africa ($929.3 billion) or those of the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and North Africa ($1.34 trillion). This collective wealth of the 497 is also greater than the combined incomes of the poorest half of humanity.
The Institute for Policy Studies