Poverty to Fall below 10 Percent in 2015

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The World Bank announced that extreme poverty is likely to fall to below 10% this year, “giving fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030” – echoing a top goal set by the newly-agreed United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda.

The World Bank explained that it uses an updated international poverty line of $1.90 a day, which incorporates new information on differences in the cost of living across countries and preserves the real purchasing power of the previous line of $1.25 a day in 2005 prices in the world’s poorest countries.

Based on the new line, the World Bank projects that global poverty will have fallen from 902 million people – or 12.8% of the global population in 2012 – to 702 million people, or 9.6% of the global population, this year.

Ending poverty is the top goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted on 25 September by the 193-Member United Nations General Assembly, which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed as “an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms – an agenda for the planet, our common home.”

The World Bank forecast noted that poverty remains concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

For the last several decades, three regions, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, have accounted for some 95 per cent of global poverty.

According to the World Bank, poverty is declining in all regions but it is becoming deeper and more entrenched in countries that are either conflict ridden or overly dependent on commodity exports. The growing concentration of global poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is of great concern.

In its regional forecasts for 2015, the World Bank said that:

  • poverty in East Asia and the Pacific would fall to 4.1 per cent of its population, down from 7.2 per cent in 2012;
  • Latin America and the Caribbean would fall to 5.6 per cent from 6.2 in 2012;
  • South Asia would fall to 13.5 per cent in 2015, compared to 18.8 per cent in 2012;
  • Sub-Saharan Africa declines to 35.2 per cent in 2015, compared to 42.6 per cent in 2012.

World Bank noted that reliable current poverty data is not available for the Middle East and North Africa because of conflict and fragility in key countries in the region.

ABOUT WORLD BANK:

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. It comprises two institutions:

  1. the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and
  2. the International Development Association (IDA).

The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group, and a member of the United Nations Development Group.

The World Bank’s official goal is the reduction of poverty. According to its Articles of Agreement, all its decisions must be guided by a commitment to the promotion of foreign investment and international trade and to the facilitation of Capital investment.

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