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Global Challenges at a Glance

Synopsis of global challenges

The Global2015 survey gives an overview of the most urgent global challenges for human needs and life. All the challenges examined deal with existential damages or risks to human life.

Analysing 24 challenges the survey identifies the following 6 as the most severe:


World Nutrition and Poverty Eradication

About 963 million people suffer chronic hunger, which kills almost five million per year. Around 1.4 billion people live below the extreme poverty line, defined by the UN (United Nations) as 1.25 dollars per day. The members of the United Nations have agreed upon the targets to halve the proportions of undernourished and of extreme poor people from 1990 to 2015. Trends: 

Stop Epidemics

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)/AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), tuberculosis and malaria combined kill around 4.3 million people per year. Also, drug resistant viruses and new diseases create a global risk. The UN members target to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major infectious diseases by 2015. Trends: 0/


Keeping Climate Liveable

Man-made climate change will likely include a global warming of 1.1-6.4°C (degree Celsius) by 2100 and weather extremes, harming agriculture, biodiversity, freshwater, coastal zones, health, etc. (and so on) There are currently 38 industrialized countries and countries in transition who have agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 1990 and ending in 2012 by 5%. Trend: 

Safe Birth Conditions

Due to the lack of assistance by skilled attendants, there are between 3.7 and 4.5 million infant and maternal deaths each year. The UN members have set the targets of reducing the mortality rate of children under the age of 5 by two thirds and the maternal mortality rate by three quarters by 2015. Trend: +


Clean Indoor Air

Each year, 1.5 million people die due to indoor air pollution. Causes are cooking places using an open fire, respectively the lack of access to modern energy. Three billion people live in such households. The WHO (World Health Organization) air quality guideline for respirable particulate matter applies also to indoor air pollution. Trend: +

Road Safety

About 24.3 million people are injured or disabled, and 1.28 million people die in road traffic per year. The global economic costs of road crashes have been estimated at $ 518 billion annually. There is no international target. Trend: 


For data sources and more information on these and other issues such as: peace, financial stability, or capacity building, please refer to our comprehensive draft synopsis on global challenges.

Draft (2008)