Global Poverty Reduction
Most Americans perceive the current political climate as increasingly polarized by party affiliation. In 2019, Pew Research Center surveyed the American public and found that nearly 80% believe divisions are increasing between Democrats and Republicans. Yet, the political pursuit of global poverty reduction benefits those on both sides of the political aisle.

The Science Behind Political Unity

In a recent interview with The Borgen Project, social psychologist Dr. Calvin Lai explained key factors contributing to the difficulty of Democrats and Republicans to simply get along. Primarily, the core of political division – a type of intergroup conflict – stems from differing morality and values between Republicans and Democrats. Beyond differences of morality and values, geography, demography and culture also shape one’s political outlook. Despite these differences, Dr. Lai points to “bonding together based on a common goal” as a useful tool in overpowering intergroup conflict to reach bipartisan consensus.

Poverty Reduction as a Common Legislative Goal

Leading up to the 2016 elections, Gallup and Pew Research Center conducted polls to survey Americans on their legislative priorities. The results revealed that Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike regarded national security and terrorism, the economy and jobs as the most pressing issues.

The survey thus indicates room for a bipartisan stance on foreign aid. Global poverty reduction – which improves national security, strengthens the economy and improves domestic employment – can be the common thread that pulls together both sides of the political spectrum and encourages collaboration over conflict.

National Security and Terrorism as Cornerstones of American Legislative Priorities

In 2002, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that “sustainable development is a security imperative. Poverty, destruction of the environment and despair are destroyers of people, of societies, of nations, a cause of instability as an unholy trinity that can destabilize countries and destabilize entire regions.”

Global poverty relates to a host of environmental, economic and political problems for the international system, regardless of a nation’s wealth. For instance, deforestation – though people do not typically regard it as a threat to national security – occurs more frequently in impoverished, tropical countries. The state of the environment knows no borders. Issues like deforestation pose a risk to the entire world by degrading the climate.

Political unrest and terrorism also unfold in connection with poverty. Notably, poverty does not directly cause terrorism, and most terrorists are not poor. Rather, poverty breeds systemic issues and mental turmoil for societies, which may cause people to abandon hope for institutionalized change and instead support radical terrorist organizations.

The Causal Nexus Between Global Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth

After national security, the economy and employment rank high for the American people’s political interests. In today’s highly globalized world, an unstable global economy prevents the U.S. from reaching its full economic potential.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush once declared, “A world where some live in comfort and plenty while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day is neither just nor stable.” Echoing Bush’s sentiments, research indicates that a highly active world economy cannot be sustained long term if coupled with increasing income inequality. Conversely, mitigating global poverty advances equality and allows all countries to participate in a more just, sound and stable international marketplace.

In particular, the U.S. – a dominant economic power dependent on exports – stands to benefit significantly from global poverty reduction. Asia and Africa are home to the top 10 countries with the fastest-growing GDPs. Libya tops this list, followed by Rwanda and Bangladesh, to name a few. As developing nations stabilize and prosper, more opportunities exist for trade with U.S. markets. Developing countries have accounted for half of international economic growth, and 50% of U.S. businesses supply half their exports to these emerging economies. Success for U.S. businesses boosts the economy but also promotes domestic employment by extension.

Approaching Global Poverty Reduction from a Bipartisan Front

In recent decades, global income equality has improved dramatically with less than a 10th of the world facing extreme poverty. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have crippling effects on developing countries faced with scarce resources and infrastructural challenges to health care. The U.S. has the power and privilege to drastically improve the conditions of those facing life or death by endorsing foreign aid.

Domestically, the clash between red and blue has eroded a sense of national unity in recent years. Still, there is room for political consensus: most Americans agree that national security, the economy and employment remain essential aspects of the U.S. legislative agenda. Global poverty reduction allows people of all ideologies to tackle these problems and come together for something good.

– Maya Gonzales
Photo: Flickr

Global Poverty Reduction
The United Nations (U.N.) defines “extreme poverty” as living on $1.90 a day or less. In 2018, roughly 9 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. However, global poverty reduction efforts are implementing successfully in some of the world’s poorest countries. By 2030, projections determine that extreme poverty should decrease to 6 percent. Here are some basic facts about global poverty levels today and examples of successful NGO projects that are achieving widespread global poverty reduction.

Facts About Global Poverty Levels

  1. Basic Needs: In 2017, three-quarters of the global population had safe sanitation facilities and 90 percent had access to potable water. Still, 2 billion people live in “high water stress.” This means that the demand for water exceeds the available amount. A U.N. survey of 172 countries found that 138 had some form of legal measure in place to provide equitable access to water. Additionally, around 70 percent of all states surveyed currently have procedures that supply rural areas with more water.
  2. Electricity: Ninety percent of the world is now supplied with electricity due to significant expansion to rural regions. Yet, rural rates still remain disparate at 78 percent compared to urban centers’ rate of 97 percent. Several countries remain below 20 percent electrification, most of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. On the other hand, Kenya, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India have substantially increased electric services. India, for example, supplied 30 million households with power from 2010 to 2016.
  3. Unemployment: The global unemployment rate is now at 5 percent, returning to pre-2008 financial crisis levels. However, youth unemployment rates are three times that of adults (12 percent for youth vs. 4 percent for adults). In addition, rural communities experience three times as much poverty as urban centers. The employment sex ratio remains asymmetric, but the female labor market participation rose to 48 percent worldwide. On average, gender equality in the workplace is now at 1 percent.
  4. Social Services: In 2019, 45 percent of the global population benefited from at least one social service. Net school enrollment increased by half over the past 10 years, and over 90 percent of those aged 15 to 24 are literate. Still, gender equality in educational attainment has decreased. Additionally, primary school enrollment rates are four times higher in Europe and North America, where social services cover about 92 percent of all children. This is seven times higher than in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.

NGO Initiatives

  1. Burkina Faso Cash Transfer Project: The International Development Association started the Burkina Faso Cash Transfer project in 2014. The project is an infrastructure development initiative that addresses three key areas: private-sector job growth, the improvement of the social safety net and vocational training. The cash assistance program is a need-based system. Additionally, the program provides the poorest groups with social services and three years of financial aid. So far, half a million people are in their respective national social safety nets, and 100,000 individuals received cash assistance. Approximately 35,000 recipients received additional funds for food, keeping many citizens from returning to poverty. Around a million people will benefit from the program by 2024.
  2. Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project (SWEDD): SWEDD launched in countries like Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali in 2015. SWEDD addresses the ramifications of gender inequality on multiple fronts and informs and empowers women of all ages. Labor market preparedness, access to reproductive health care services and increased school attendance are the project’s primary objectives, even though it works a little differently in each country. For example, by subsidizing schooling for 13,000 girls in Chad, the dropout rate has been lowered by 50 percent.
  3. The Urban Youth Employment Project (UYEP): The World Bank and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade fund UYEP. UYEP focuses on youth employment in Papua New Guinea. In 2010, three-quarters of those under the age of 24 had no bank account, did not attend high school and never had a paying job. The program has provided 18,500 youth with work-specific training, subsequent job placement and financial subsidies throughout the process.

Power of NGOs in Global Poverty Reduction

NGO funds are vital for global poverty reduction because they help low-income countries achieve durable change. In December 2019, the World Bank Group and the International Development Association committed $80 billion of funding for existing and proposed projects in the 76 poorest countries. Since 2000, there is notable progress in these fragile areas. Nonetheless, substantial challenges remain to alleviate poverty and achieve global poverty reduction.

Annabel Fay
Photo: Flickr

what makes a country developedWhat makes a country developed? The commonalities between developed countries include an improved quality of life and greater access to basic necessities. Conversely, underdeveloped nations around the world also share common characteristics. Citizens suffer from preventable diseases, extreme poverty and lack of access to healthcare and clean water. Understanding the characteristics of underdeveloped countries can allow for a more strategic aid process to contribute to their development.

The former Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, said that a developed country is “one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.” While this may be an oversimplified statement, it highlights key issues that must be addressed in order for a country to develop. Here are some characteristics of underdeveloped countries.

Low life expectancy 

While the life expectancy of developed countries is typically in the 70s and 80s, underdeveloped countries often have life expectancies in the low 50s. This is common in African nations and is due to high birthrates and low contraception use, poor access to health care and potable water, lack of education and disease. All of this can easily be prevented.

Many measures can raise life expectancy while decreasing overpopulation and deaths resulting from preventable diseases. This includes using technology to help medical clinics in rural areas, increasing the number of wells, utilizing solar sanitation systems, revamping national education standards and having a sharper focus on vaccines.

Poor education and literacy 

Similarly to life expectancy, literacy rates and educational systems are telltale signs of a developed country. While countries like Norway consistently maintain a 100 percent literacy rate, underdeveloped countries, such as Niger, maintain an estimated 19 percent. While primary school is mandatory for most of the world’s children, many drop out in underdeveloped countries. The lack of secondary and vocational education for children prevents them from entering the workforce later in life. This can be combated by revamping curriculum and teacher training and by enforcing internationally recognized standards.

Poverty rates 

The economy factors greatly into what makes a country developed. Lack of income prevents people from access to basic human rights such as clean water, food and preventable measures against disease. While only 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, over 60 percent in the Congo and neighboring countries do. With additional aid, underdeveloped countries can increase credit access and improve agricultural and infrastructural systems, which would produce food and create jobs simultaneously.

High fertility rates 

Overpopulation is another characteristic of underdeveloped countries. Lack of education and birth control have contributed greatly to high fertility rates. In countries like Chad, for instance, only five percent utilize contraception. It has contributed to high birth rates, a population in which the majority are adolescents and have low life expectancies. Better education and access to birth control can balance the booming population in underdeveloped countries.

It is clear that the steps to helping underdeveloped countries are simple. Healthcare, education and credit access contribute to what makes a country developed. By addressing the aforementioned issues, underdeveloped countries can take steps to develop further and contribute to eliminating global poverty.

– Eric Paulsen

Photo: Flickr

Global Partnership for EducationIn many developing countries it is common practice to marry off girls before the age of 18. Consequently, when girls are married at such a young age, they do not receive an education. This practice can cost countries billions of dollars, according to the World Bank. However, recent studies show that ending child marriage could reduce global poverty.

Child marriage, which primarily affects girls, has many consequences. It causes overpopulation, poor health for said child and it tends to lead to violence. Conversely, ending child marriage would have lasting social advantages and economic benefits, such as an increase in the girls’ earnings.

“Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams. It also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity,” said Quentin Wodon, lead author of the World Bank’s report on the economic cost of child marriage. “Ending this practice is not only the morally right thing to do but also the economically smart thing to do.”

Ending child marriage would save countries a lot of money — by 2030, countries could save $327 million in education budgets alone. In Africa, seeing an end to child marriage could save up to $5 billion as a result of lower malnutrition, according to the Global Partnership for Education. It could also reduce fertility rates by 10 percent, which would reduce overpopulation and global poverty by extension.

So, what’s the best way to end child marriage? Simply keeping girls in school.

Education is the best way to end child marriage because it allows girls to be more independent and strong-minded. The longer a girl is in school, the less likely it is that she will be married young. Unfortunately, there are societies that deem education a luxury and a “waste of resources.” Such societies are also threatened by the independence a female would gain by being educated.

Failure to educate girls has its own negative implications. In the same manner that ending child marriage can increase a girl’s earnings in the future, so too can having an education. In fact, some countries lose out on an estimated $92 billion of economic growth for failing to properly educate their girls.

Pooja (not her real name), a girl from Nepal, knew education would have given her a better life. “If I had studied I would have been working. But my parents held my marriage and I couldn’t do anything after marriage. I now have children to look after,” she said.

Everything is connected. Seeing girls educated could potentially end child marriage which would potentially reduce global poverty.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

global educationTwo of the biggest myths about global poverty are that countries are doomed to stay poor no matter how much aid they receive and that global poverty is too big to fix. There is progress in the fight to end global poverty every day. Several of the largest importers of American goods and services, including countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, have graduated from U.S. foreign aid programs to economic independence, and global poverty has been cut in half since 1990.

Foreign aid helps contribute to the downsizing of global poverty, but there are other ways to help as well. If total global education were achieved, it would have a significant impact on the reduction of poverty.

Here are six ways global education can reduce global poverty.

  1. Education can reduce economic inequalities. If everyone had the same amount of education, disparity in working poverty would shrink by 39 percent.
  2. Education promotes economic growth. According to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), “In 2050, GDP per capita in low-income countries would be almost 70 percent higher if all children were learning.”
  3. Education can increase earnings. According to UNESCO, one extra year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by up to 10 percent. According to the GPE, for each additional dollar invested in an extra year of schooling, earnings increase by $5 in low-income countries and $2.5 in lower-middle-income countries.
  4. Education can lead to gender equality. Women have been proven to reap higher returns from schooling, and some countries that fail to educate their girls properly lose out on an estimated $92 billion in economic growth.
  5. Education can lead to access to clean water. In rural areas, girls spend 15 hours a day collecting water for their families. If everyone, girls included, were educated properly about their health and water sanitation, local water sanitation would increase. This could potentially lead to a decline in the amount of time needed to fetch water.
  6. Education can lead to peace and justice. The world’s most dangerous countries are also the poorest. Educated people tend to participate in the democratic process and exercise their civil rights, according to UNESCO. They also tend to be more tolerant of people different than they are.

It would take only $16 billion a year in aid to send all children to school in low-income countries, according to UNESCO. For comparison, the U.S alone spends $601 billion on its military. Global education is attainable, and it can change and save lives.

Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in the Philippines
Poverty in the Philippines is widespread. The Republic of the Philippines is a country of 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is located in Southeast Asia and struggles to reduce high poverty rates. The United Nations (U.N.) reports that the Republic of the Philippines has one of the highest poverty rates in Asia despite a steady decline in recent years.

The country is rich in natural resources and biodiversity because of its close proximity to the equator; however, it is prone to earthquakes and storms, making it the third most disaster-prone country in the world.

The Philippines’ poverty level is also tied to uncontrolled population growth. According to the U.N., the Philippines “rapid population growth has exacerbated poverty and has fueled rapid urban population growth, overseas labor migration, and unprecedented environmental degradation.”

Philippine Poverty Stats

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released its latest poverty incidence update on March 18, 2016. The statistics, which account for the first semester of 2015, contain data collected from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) done in July 2015. This data shows that:

  • The poverty level for all Filipinos is 26.3 percent; for the same period in 2012, it was 27.9 percent.
  • The portion of the population who fall below the food threshold, or are unable to meet basic food requirements, is 12.1 percent; for the same period in 2012, it was 13.4 percent.
  • The poverty incidence for families in 2015 was 21.1 percent; in 2012 it was 22.3 percent.
  • The subsistence level, or the portion of Filipino families extreme poverty, in 2015 was 9.2 percent; in 2012 it was 10 percent.

The food threshold is the minimum income needed to meet basic food requirements set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI). The poverty threshold is expanded to include basic non-food needs such as clothing, housing, transportation, health and education expenses.

The PSA includes these statistics in their reports and calculates how much income would be required for a family of five at subsistence level to pull themselves out of poverty.

In the first semester of 2015, the income gap for a family living in poverty in the Philippines is still 29 percent short of the threshold.

The Rural Poverty Portal reports that half of the poor in the Philippines live in rural areas. The poorest of the poor are the indigenous, landless laborers, fishermen, small farmers, mountain folk and women.

Deforestation, depleted fisheries and unproductive farmland are major problems for these peoples. Illiteracy and lack of educational opportunities are also critical issues.

The Republic of the Philippines made great strides in poverty reduction in recent years, but as with most countries, they still have much to improve upon.

Rhonda Marrone

Photo: Flickr

Ending global poverty is an issue that has largely escaped the 2016 presidential campaign. Inequality, terrorism, immigration, trade agreements and social issues have taken center stage. Yet many candidates support foreign aid as a key component of U.S. policy and believe that ending global poverty is in the best interest of the United States. Marco Rubio is one such candidate.

Rubio is unique in a way, in that his parents are immigrants who suffered under poverty in Cuba. In a 2014 press release, Rubio describes their situation. “My mother was one of seven girls whose parents often went to bed hungry so their children wouldn’t. My father lost his mother when he was nine. He left school and went to work at a local restaurant at about the same age of my youngest son now.”

Recognizing that his parents were not at fault for their hardship, Rubio says, “My parents, like most people that have ever lived, were raised in a country where they were trapped by the circumstances of their birth.” Poverty traps billions of people all over the globe and by linking his parents to “most people that have ever lived,” Rubio clearly empathizes with the world’s poor.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that, when asked, Rubio expresses support for U.S. foreign aid. At a November campaign stop, Tom Hardy of Global Citizen/Humanosphere asked Rubio about his views on international development and aid. His response was short and succinct.

“In countries where there is real and robust economic development, there is less radicalization. Soft power is a real element and it’s in our national interest, and part of it is because it is the right thing to do.” Rubio identifies two key elements of why the U.S. should assist other countries. One is that development and strong rule of law help suppress terrorism. The other is that helping others and doing the right thing is a core piece of America’s identity.

Rubio believes that the United States “has been blessed for what it has done for the world.” He also pointed out that “[foreign aid] is only a small percentage of the federal budget.” This last sentence is crucial, as it rebuffs a common misperception about foreign aid.

A major reason why candidates, including Rubio, fail to mention their support for aid is that the public grossly overestimates the generosity of the United States. A Borgen Project article from 2014 reported that a Kaiser Family Foundation study found the average U.S. citizen believes 28 percent of the U.S. budget goes to aid. In reality, that number is less than one percent. Due to this discrepancy, the same report found that nearly half of Americans favor large cuts in foreign aid.

Supporting increases in aid is, therefore, politically challenging but Rubio has taken the risk. In the last year, he lent his support to the Reach Every Mother and Child Act and the Global Food Security Act as a co-sponsor. Both of these bills are supported by The Borgen Project and by many pro-development groups. Rubio has not only talked the talk but walked the walk.

To retain America’s position as a leader among nations, it is important that whoever is elected in 2016 understands that influence comes not only through military might but also through the soft power of aid and development.

As Rubio said in a 2012 speech, “We don’t have a national debt because of foreign aid. If you zeroed out foreign aid it would do nothing for the debt, but would be devastating, not just to the world but to America’s role in it.”

As a person, a senator and a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio’s commitment to ending global poverty is unquestionable.

Dennis Sawyers

Sources: Global Citizen, Humanosphere, Marco Rubio Official Site, The Borgen Project
Photo: Flickr

Global poverty is not “too big” to fix but it won’t be solved overnight. Progress is attainable and 2015 was a landmark year in many ways. New data revealed historical progress was achieved, innovative development strategies were pursued and the fight against global poverty continued.

While global poverty persists in 2016, these five global poverty infographics show what the fight looked like last year, how far the global community has come and the importance of continuing the fight this year.

Infographic #1: For the first time, fewer than 10 percent of people in the world were living in extreme poverty.

Infographic 1- 2015_Charts_Poverty-690
Making headlines, the World Bank measured extreme poverty at its lowest level ever. Rising prosperity in countries such as China and India contributed to the reduction. The decrease is also considered a success for the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the first of which aimed to cut poverty rates in half between 1990 and 2015.

Infographic #2: What are the SDGs about?Infographic 2- sdgs
While 2015 was the target year for the MDGs, it also kicked off the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taking stock, the international community assessed, applauded and reconsidered what the MDGs accomplished and didn’t. Now, the SDGs aim to carry that momentum forward.

Infographic #3: The 2015 Data Report: Putting the Poorest First.DATA_Report_2015_infographic 3
Data was center stage in 2015 and will continue to be this year. Increased access to data throughout the world has helped aid organizations better understand the dynamics of global poverty. The ONE campaign compiled their data into the 2015 report and advocated for providing aid to the least developed countries first.

Infographic #4: Why invest in women?
Infographic 4- why-invest-in-women
USAID is targeting female populations to maximize the impact of aid and investment. In addition to advocating for gender equality, numerous governments and NGOs have observed women multiplying the benefits they receive and uplifting the greater community.

Infographic #5: Managing the impacts of climate change on global poverty. Infographic 5- Climate and Poverty
These global poverty infographics show that despite success in reducing global poverty rates, the future holds more challenges and uncertainties, such as climate change. In the lead-up to the UN Climate Change Conference, the World Bank raised awareness that climate change may ultimately increase poverty rates. To mitigate this, the World Bank and other organizations began calling for sustainable, “climate-smart” development to ensure poverty reduction continues.

Cara Kuhlman

Sources: The New Yorker, EurActivONE, USAID, World Bank

BRACAmidst the daily fight against global poverty levels, success stories arise from one of the world’s largest development charities. Recently awarded the World Food Prize for successfully pulling more than 150 million people in developing countries out of poor living conditions, Fazel Hasan Abed, founder of the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, seems to have stumbled upon a working methodology.

What makes this methodology different from other approaches can be found in the difference between chauvinism and charity. Chauvinistic approaches to world aid portray a very “hands-off” tactic, whereas charity clearly sets out to give direct help to those in need.

Many IGOs are now looking to out-source the BRAC method. This method utilizes a short amount of time, 24 months, and a high amount of pressure on developing communities in order to produce the greatest results.

The first step is to determine the target individuals of aid by looking at the “determinants of poverty” – little to no healthcare availability, no livelihood skills or capital, low self-esteem and illiteracy, as well as social exclusion. This is done through “participatory wealth ranking,” which directly engages the community.

Next, the individuals are provided with adequate resources and taught fundamentals through “asset grants.” Fundamentals include different livelihood skills and literacy abilities, such as being able to write his or her name for the first time.

The last tactic is monitoring. Arguably, this demonstrates the importance of such a hands-on approach and in fact is referred to as the “hand-holding” step. Progress is closely supervised. For two years the individuals receive direct assistance and have proven that these individuals are able to maintain a better quality of life over the next four years after they “graduate” the BRAC system.

While this methodology might seem a “brute force approach” concerning its direct and hands-on elements, it proves to be the most effective. BRAC is smart, efficient, and proven to work. It targets the “ultra-poor” specifically, sets goals and drives the ball home until the individuals have successfully been pulled out of poor living conditions.

Felicia L. Warren

Sources: The Guardian
Photo: Flickr

United-Nations-Reduces-Global-PovertyEradicating global poverty is an undeniably massive and difficult task. From lack of food and shelter to ineffective medications and governments, it seems almost entirely impossible for an ordinary person to provide any help for developing countries with such circumstances. Bring in a group of ordinary people, however, and a solution is attainable.

The United Nations set a goal to reduce global poverty and did – overwhelmingly so. In 2000, 191 countries of the U.N. created the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight goals that sought to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015.

Since then, the Goals have helped 700 million people overcome extreme poverty. From 1990 to 2010, the efforts of the U.N. reduced global poverty by half, five years before the target date. Today, the amount of undernourished people in developing countries has decreased from 23 percent in 1990-92 to 14 percent.

Furthermore, the U.N. wanted to see universal primary education. By 2010, enrollment in primary school had reached 90 percent, an eight percent increase from 1999. By 2012, the number of children not attending school had declined by two million.

Such successes have been achieved not only through foreign aid but also through several programs that teach impoverished communities to lead sustainable lives.

This September, the U.N. will meet again to develop new goals and advance old ones for international development through 2030. The global goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals​, are shaped to end extreme global poverty, fight gender inequalities and address climate change. One objective for the next 15 years is to lift another 1.2 billion people out of poverty.

Additionally, the new set of goals will address the 842 million people that remain hungry, as well as the unfortunately high number of children that are not receiving a proper education. Though the number of children in school today is at its highest, 126 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24 remain illiterate.

Unquestionably, the U.N. has made a significantly positive difference in the reduction of global poverty since 1990, having met or exceeded several criteria from the Millennium Development Goals. However, the fight against global poverty is not over, and the U.N. will continue to fight until it is completely eradicated.

– Sarah Sheppard

Sources: UN MDGs, SF Chronicle, The Global Goals
Photo: Child Fund