Globally, extreme poverty will be halved by 2015

The world is on track to halving the proportion of people in extreme poverty, says the Washington Post.

According to the World Bank's research department, if its projections for economic growth hold true, the global poverty rate will fall below 13 percent by 2015 – less than half the 1990 level:

  • In 1990, 28 percent of the population in poor and middle-income countries lived below the $1-a-day line.

  • By 2001, that proportion had fallen to 21 percent.

  • The most dramatic advance occurred in East Asia, where the proportion living below the dollar line fell from 30 percent to 16 percent.

  • South Asia was the other success story, cutting the rate from 41 percent to 31 percent.

    However, in other regions, slower economic growth has translated into a lack of progress on poverty. Over the past decade, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America, and the transition economies of Europe and Central Asia went sideways; in Africa the extreme poverty rate rose from 41 percent to 46 percent.

    Admittedly, because of population growth, the absolute number of people in extreme poverty is declining less dramatically. Over the past 10 years, the number of people under the dollar-a-day line has fallen by about 100 million, from 1.2 billion to 1.1 billion.

    Source: Editorial, Good News on Development, Washington Post, April 23, 2004; see also Global Monitoring Report 2004: Policies and Actions for Achieving the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals] and Related Outcomes, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, April 25, 2004.

    For WP text

    For World Bank report

    For more on International Poverty

    FMF Policy Bulletin\27 April 2004

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