Good News in the War on Poverty
In 2015 The United Nations completed The Millennium Development Goals which began in 1990. Over that period, remarkable results have been achieved.
- In 1990, nearly half of the population in developing regions lived on less than $1.25 a day. This rate dropped to 14% in 2015.
- The total number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half from 1.9 billion to 836 million.
- The number of underfed people has been almost cut in half from 23.3% to 12.9%
- Primary school enrollment has risen to 91% from 83%.
- Sub-Saharan Africa achieved a 20% increase in primary school enrollment from 2000 to 2015.
- The number of primary school aged children who were out of school dropped from 100 million to 57 million over the past 15 years.
- The literacy rate of those between 15 and 24 years old has risen from 83% to 91%.
- The proportion of girls in school in Southern Asia has risen from 74 girls for every 100 boys to 103 girls for every 100 boys
- Women now make up 41% of paid non-agricultural employments, an increase from 35%
- The under-five mortality rate dropped from 90 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births and the number of under-five deaths dropped from 12.7 million to almost 6 million despite the boom in global population
- The number of globally reported measles cases declined by 67% since 2000 and measles vaccinations helped prevent nearly 15.6 million deaths
- Maternal mortality declined by almost half
- New infections of HIV decreased by approximately 40% since 2000
- The use of Antiretroviral therapy by AIDS patients increased from 800,000 in 2003 to 13.6 million which has averted 7.6 million deaths between 1995 and 2003
- Over 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted since 2000
- The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 45% saving an estimated 37 million lives
- Official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66% in real terms since 2000 and 5 countries (Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, and the UK) exceeded the 0.7% Gross National Income UN assistance target
- Internet usage is up from 6% in 2000 to 43% in 2015 connecting 3.2 billion people worldwide
Now for the Good News
Poverty has fallen in all regions of the world
(The Economist) – The past four years have seen an economic crisis coincide with a food-price spike. That must surely have boosted the number of the world’s poor (especially since food inflation hits the poor hardest)—right? Wrong. New estimates of the numbers of the world’s poor by the World Bank’s Development Research Group show that for the first time ever, poverty—defined as the number and share of people living below $1.25 a day (at 2005 prices)—fell in every region of the world in 2005-08. Half the long-term decline is attributable to China, which has taken 660m people out of poverty since the early 1980s. But the main contribution to the recent turnaround is Africa. Its poverty headcount rose at every three-year interval between 1981 and 2005, the only continent where this happened. But in 2008, it fell by 12m, or five percentage points to 47%—the first time less than half of Africans have been below the poverty line. The bank also has partial estimates for 2010. These show global poverty that year was half its 1990 level, implying the long-term rate of poverty reduction—slightly over one percentage point a year—continued unabated in 2008-10, despite the dual crisis.