The Project Literacy alliance has discovered a shocking 11% of the world population are illiterate.
The Project Literacy alliance has bought together several charities, including the National Literacy Trust, BookAid and Room to Read, in order to raise awareness of this terrible global trend towards illiteracy. The campaigns spokeswoman, Ms Kate James, explains how illiteracy is a major barrier to economic development and leads to ‘inequality, poverty and disease’. With recent figures showing that more than 70% of US prisoners have reading ages the same or lower than nine-year-olds, and illiteracy creating an estimated cost of £2.25 trillion to the global economy, this appears to be true.
The alliance is based in the US but takes a global view on this decline in literacy. Currently the campaigners are lobbying leaders at the UN general assembly by way of a virtual petition created on behalf of over 750 million who cannot write sign their own name. The Project Literacy Alliance highlights gender imbalance in education as a core problem, describing how 5 out of every 7 illiterate people are female. The global education targets set by the UN since 1990 stated the goal of providing primary education for all. However many of these targets have not been met and there are now 37% more illiterate sub-Saharan African adults since 1990.
To learn more about how you can get involved in the Project Literacy campaign visit their website and sign their petition on behalf of illiterate people across the world.