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Goal 1: Reducing Poverty and Hunger

Goal 1: Reducing Poverty and Hunger

Extreme poverty—the proportion of the population in developing countries living on less than $1 a day—fell from 29 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2004.

East Asia and Pacific experienced the most impressive reduction in poverty, and South Asia is now on track, but Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind.

Over the same period, the number of people in developing countries grew by 20 percent to more than 5 billion, including 1 billion people in extreme poverty.
Global poverty is projected to fall to 12 percent by 2015—a striking success.


Approximately 27 percent of the extreme poor in developing countries live in fragile states.
Fragile states have consistently grown more slowly than in other low-income countries. Clearly, this has been, and will likely continue to be, an obstacle to the achievement of MDG1 in those countries.

A typical fragile state had made negative progress toward MDG1 by 2005, at which point its poverty rate by the $1 per day measure was about twice that of a typical nonfragile state.
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Poverty
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While accelerating growth in India has put South Asia on track to meet its goal, Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind.

East Asia has experienced a sustained period of economic growth, led by China, while Latin America and the Caribbean has stagnated, with modest poverty reduction.The transition economies of Europe and Central Asia saw poverty rates rise in the 1990s and then fall. There and in the Middle East and North Africa, consumption of $2 a day may be more relevant.

TARGET 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who live on less than $1 a day.
TARGET 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

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Poverty Fig. 3
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This chart shows the percentage of countries in each region that are on track to achieve the poverty reduction target of the MDGs.

Some have already achieved the target. Those shown as on track could reach the target by 2015, if they maintain current progress. But those shown as off track and seriously off track are reducing poverty too slowly.

Eighty percent of fragile states lack
the data needed to estimate their progress.

More than half of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are off track to reach the 2015 target of cutting malnutrition rates by half.

Half of the countries in South Asia are on track to reach the target, but they also have the highest rates of malnutrition in the world and will continue to have the largest share
of malnourished children, even if the target is achieved.

Malnutrition rates in fragile states are similar to those found in other developing countries.

Poverty Fig. 4
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Between 1981 and 2004, the number of people in the world who lived in extreme poverty fell from nearly 1.5 billion to just under 1 billion.

Both the Middle East and North Africa and Europe and Central Asia regions had essentially eliminated extreme poverty by 1981, but nearly 800 million poor people lived in East Asia—over half of the global total.

By 2004 extraordinary progress had been made to lower poverty incidence in East Asia, lifting nearly 630 million people from extreme poverty in under a quarter of a century, which lowered the region’s share of total poverty from 58 percent to just 9 percent.

At the same time, poverty fell in South Asia from 52 percent of the population in 1981 to 32 percent in 2004, but absolute numbers have been persistent at around 470 million people.

In contrast, in Sub-Saharan Africa poverty incidence hovered around 46 percent between the early 1980s and 1999, and declined to 41 percent in 2004. Despite this better trend, the absolute number of poor is still around 300 million.

 

 




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