If that sounds like a frightening thought, it is. For so many, it's a reality. One out of every nine people on Earth gets by on less than two dollars a day.
People all over the world are trying to help in different ways, including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée Byer. She's spent years photographing a world that most of us in our "first world country" will never see or, simply, find too painful to look at.
The photographs and stories of the people she has encountered are captured in a new traveling exhibit called, "Living on a Dollar a Day."
Most important for Byer is preserving the dignity of the people she photographs. She aimed to "show how hard-working they were, to let their life unfold in front of me, and to document that life."
Her approach is to document not just their lack of food, clean water and healthcare, but their smiles, too.
On planet Earth, the poorest people total more than 800 million. Byer feels her experiences are enough to understand what those people go through.
"One of the myths about poverty is that people who are poor are lazy. And I have to say that in all of my travels through four continents, that that couldn't be farther from the truth."
Byer's quest for the truth began when she took time off from her newspaper job at the Sacramento Bee. Her journey took her to 10 countries and she snapped 15,000 photographs.
In Ghana, she saw children wearing flip-flops sifting through burning fragments of old computers. They were searching for metal that they could sell. "You can see the fire here--even his (a little boy) eyelashes are singed from the fire, from working so close and digging with his bare hands in toxic waste."
It was in Ghana that she met Fati, an eight year old girl afflicted with malaria who was crying as she worked. She asked someone else there what was wrong with her and why she was crying. They said, "that's because she wants to go home with you." The remark broke Byer's heart.
As of late, the number of people living this way has actually dropped by more than half since 1999. This is due to foreign aid and new investments in health and education. It is also due to some of Byer's photos. People inspired by Byer's photos have helped children like Fati attend boarding schools.
"She has the most amazing smile," Byer said. "Her life has completely changed."
Renee Byer's photos continue to inspire people to affect change in the poverty ridden areas of the world. Which gives new meaning to the saying, "A picture's worth a thousand words."
You can see some of Byer's photos here: Faces of the world’s extreme poor.