Live Below the Line

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Live Below the Line is an annual anti-poverty campaign, which challenges participants to feed themselves on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line for five days[1] in order to gain an insight into some of the hardships faced by those who live in extreme poverty. It also raises money for poverty reduction projects across the globe.[2]

The campaign began in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 and has since spread to the UK, USA, New Zealand, Canada, and Colombia.[3][4][5][6]


Live Below the Line was started in Australia by Rich Fleming and Nick Allardice from The Global Poverty Project and The Oaktree Foundation. They had been fighting poverty for a number of years and were worried about public awareness of the subject[citation needed]. The aim was to highlight the issue of extreme poverty and promote change for the world's poor.[citation needed]

Live Below the Line was created in June 2010 and its first campaign ran in August that year. Over 2,000 people participated and $520,000 was raised.[7] By 2019 a total of $11.2m AUD has been raised in the Australian version of the campaign.[8]

The Live Below the Line challenge has been taken by a number of international celebrities, including actors Hugh Jackman[citation needed], Ben Affleck,[9] Tom Hiddleston,[citation needed] and singer Josh Groban.[10] Within Australia, the challenge has been taken by Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten,[11] former Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan,[12] actors Stephen Curry[citation needed] and Rhiannon Fish[citation needed], Masterchef Australia winners Julie Goodwin and Kate Bracks,[13] musicians Lindsay McDougall and Sarah McLeod[citation needed], radio hosts Alex Dyson and Veronica Milsom,[14] and 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon.[citation needed]

Live Below the Line is run as a joint venture between The Global Poverty Project and The Oaktree Foundation.

How the line is calculated[edit]

In 2005 the World Bank defined the Extreme Poverty Line as $1.25 US a day - that is, someone would be considered to live in extreme poverty if they lived on an amount equivalent to somebody living in the United States, buying United States goods with US$1.25 a day. In 2011 (taking into account inflation and purchasing power), the equivalent amounts for the United States, Australia and United Kingdom are US$1.50, A$2 and £1 respectively.

The figure is determined by translating the 2005 figure into a local currency figure (using purchasing power parity) and then accounting for inflation since the 2005 date. A more detailed explanation of how the Australian figure was arrived at is available on the Global Poverty Project's site.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Could you live on $2 a day for five days?". Live Below The Line.
  2. ^ "What We Do". Live Below The Line.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Live below the line". Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  5. ^ "LIVE BELOW THE LINE FOR THE GLOBAL POVERTY PROJECT". 2012. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2012-05-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Live Below the Line: About". Archived from the original on 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  8. ^ "Welcome to Live Below the Line?". Youtube.
  9. ^ "Ben Affleck Will Live on $1.50 a Day". Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  10. ^ "Exclusive: Alicia Quarles: My Journey Living Below the Line". Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  11. ^ Bill Shorten [@billshortenmp] (7 May 2014). "2 minute noodles for lunch (and dinner) am on the #LiveBelowtheLine $2 challenge today" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Wayne Swan (8 May 2011). "WAYNE SWAN Live Below The Line" – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Local Musicians & Triple J Presenters Live Below The Poverty Line For Charity". 15 April 2015.
  15. ^ "AU: Live Below the Line - Why $2?". Global Poverty Project. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2013-04-20.