We’re closer than ever before to ending extreme poverty. In 1990, 36% of the world’s population was living on less than US$1.90 a day. By 2015, this figure had shrunk to just 10%. That’s over a billion people no longer living in extreme poverty!
Despite remarkable progress, the fight is far from over. The World Bank’s latest official poverty estimates show that poverty reduction has slowed down to less than half the rate it was. In 2015, 736 million people worldwide were still living on less than US$1.90 a day. If poverty reduction doesn’t happen faster, we may not end extreme poverty by 2030.
In 2015, more than half of those living in extreme poverty were in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s 413 million people, up from an estimated 278 million in 1990. Without urgent action, nearly 9 in 10 people living in extreme poverty are predicted to reside in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.
Poverty is also on the rise in fragile and conflict-affected countries.. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty in these countries has been increasing since 2010. In 2015, nearly a quarter of all people living in extreme poverty were in these countries. Most of these countries are in Africa and face some of the most severe structural barriers to development.
How can we step up efforts to end extreme poverty? That was one of the main questions at the World Bank’s launch event to mark the release of the new poverty estimates. Jamie Drummond, ONE’s Co-Founder and Executive Director of Global Strategy, was straightforward: we need to increase investments in people, particularly young women.
We’ve come a long way, and we know how far we need to go to win this battle. In order to win, governments need to invest in people to grow economies. This won’t be easy, but it is possible. More importantly, it is necessary to create a world where everyone can thrive.
You can join the fight against extreme poverty by becoming a ONE member today!