Now that the safety net of local welfare support has shrunk and we face many more ominous cuts, who knows what the current state of poverty looks like now or what these figures will be by 2020? All I can say for sure is so long as this constant level of need remains, we will continue to provide for those who need support most.
Through my experience with the Kiuyu Mbuyuni MVP, I believe that an integrated approach to grassroots development is essential to a Post 2015, SDG world. I also think that, given the size of the challenge, we need to celebrate those willing to innovate because finding a way to eradicate poverty will not happen by accident or by good intention.
There is only one answer to the divisive rift at the heart of our society. That is empathy. Empathy for the physically and mentally unwell, for people of all ages and all classes from all countries, cultures, religions and backgrounds, for victims and criminals, for those who make mistakes and also those who have never erred. It should know no limits.
We are rapidly approaching a point where the UK's poorest, particularly those unfortunate enough to be unemployed and who have larger families, are running out of reasonable housing options. The result is likely to be an increase in the use of temporary accommodation which fails the overcrowded families within it and costs the public purse more despite reforms being marketed as part of an austerity drive.
What is perhaps most worrying about all this is that is coming from what is usually a fairly impartial service (many will disagree with this statement, but the disagreement will come in equal measure from both the Left and the Right, so I am content). If the relatively benign BBC genuinely believes this sort of show is acceptable, what on earth are other, more radical channels and tabloids cooking up?
Agricultural development through productivity improvements, crop intensification, irrigation, and investment in infrastructure has significantly improved food security and the seasonal dimension of hunger worldwide in recent years. Yet seasonal hunger still persists among the rural poor, and should not be lost within poverty statistics or forgotten when addressing chronic hunger in policymaking.
Crossing the road to my office from lunch recently, a tiny girl ran after me and held my hand to ask for money. I told her that it is not right for children to beg. She looked at me sternly as if daring me to do anything about it. Looking over my shoulder I saw her young mother sitting by the roadside keenly watching, encouraging her.
Some changes really are instant. And if four year olds, with no voting power at all, living under the poverty line can still find a way to give lentils to starving babies? If they can feel powerful, purely because it never occurs to them that they don't have the power to change the world and help others?