This is fascinating stuff. In a nutshell 2010 figures show 775 million adults, and 122 million youth (15-24 y/o) on earth lack basic reading and writing skills.
64% of illiterate adults are women. And the great majority of all illiterate people live in what is sometimes called the “10/40 Window.”
It occurs to me that when it comes to communicating the love of God to the peoples of earth, it is the literate people who think first to send books. As great as this is (seriously I am 100% for providing literature and Bible translation), many many people outside the West would prefer to hear or see the Good News. Well, 775 million of them anyway! So let’s keep at it …
Check this out http://www.uis.unesco.org/FactSheets/Documents/fs20-literacy-day-2012-en-v3.pdf