Can Vatican’s Wealth End World Poverty?


In my previous post, we learned that the Catholic Church (as a whole) has no wealth because each local churches are independently run and the Vatican does not get a share of the local churches’ goods. We also learned that the Vatican (the country) has $15B worth of wealth. Is this amount enough to end the world poverty? Let’s see first how many people are below the poverty index!

Check this post first:

How many people are living in poverty?

The World Bank tells us that there are about 10% of the world population who are living in extreme poverty. They earn less than $1.90 a day. Ten percent of seven billion (world population) is 700,000,000. This is the count of those in extreme poverty only excluding those who barely passed the poverty line threshold. But let us use 700M in our calculations.

Is $15 billion enough for the 700 million?

If Vatican had $15,000,000,000.00 ($15 billion) and gave all this amount to 700,000,000 people in extreme poverty, each person would have $21.43. Maybe this amount can sustain the recipient for a week or a month, who knows! What is certain is when the money is gone, the 700M will return to their previous state. So the answer is a big NO. The Vatican’s wealth is not enough to end world poverty.

If the US were to do this with their $105,990,000,000,000.00 (105 trillion) of wealth. Each person then would have $150,000.00 which is more than enough to lift them up from poverty. However, giving each person this amount wont guarantee a long term solution to the problem. Also, this would leave USA with zero wealth and could no longer function as a country. With no wealth left for food, labor, investments, etc., its population of 320M people will have no income at all. So helping 700M by putting 320M at risk is surely not the best approach to the problem, neither.

How much donation is needed to support the poor?

The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (OXFAM) revealed in 2013 that $60,000,000,000 ($60 billion) annually would be enough to end global poverty. Perhaps this is an estimate of how much is needed to support the poor in terms of food, shelter, medicine, etc. If these billions annually run out after many years, because they will for sure run out, then the whole world will starve.


I’m no expert in demography, economics, or humanity. However, it is clear that using all the money a country, or a person, or an organization will not resolve global poverty in a long term. I believe there has to have some kind of an organized system, approved by all countries, to provide decent and consistent income to those those who are earning below the threshold so that each will have enough. Then, poverty will gradually be eradicated.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!


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