13 March 2014

The end of extreme poverty by 2030 is not a done deal

Big statements about ending extreme poverty by 2030 were tossed about last year. It is a possible outcome, though far from certain.

Present estimates say that there are 1.2 billion people still experiencing extreme poverty. That means that they have, on average, less than $1.25 each day. That $1.25 is not the US dollar converted into a foreign currency. It is an equivalent to how much that $1.25 could buy in the US in 2005. Or something like this:

If the social, economic and cultural forces that keep people in poverty are not addressed soon, there could be as many as 1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2030. That is the warning contained in The Chronic Poverty Report 2014-2015: The road to zero extreme poverty, a report from the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, hosted by the London-based think tank the Overseas Development Institute.

To avoid this possibility, the authors recommend that the world invest in three things: social assistance, education and economic growth that reaches the world’s poorest. Not doing so would represent a major slow down in anti-poverty progress that saw historic gains over the past two decades. According to the World Bank, 700 million fewer people live were living in extreme poverty in 2010 as compared to 1990.

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