The End of Global Poverty by 2030?

The End of Global Poverty by 2030?

‘This is it. This is the global target to end poverty.” These were the words Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, used in an April press conference as he held up a sheet of paper with the number ‘2030’ on it.

2030 is not a random number or a far-fetched fantasy. Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty was reduced from 43% to 21%. This reduction was driven largely by economic growth. Despite the economic crisis that has gripped the world in the last few years, the developing countries’ GDPs have been growing by about 6% a year, up from 4.5% in the three decades before 1990. This sustained growth would suggest that it is possible to continue reducing global poverty at the same rate as has occurred in the past 20 years.

However, bringing that final 20% of the global population out of extreme poverty will be significantly more difficult than the first 20%. When viewing the problem globally, the majority of people still living in extreme poverty are concentrated in the weaker states that have made the smallest strides towards reducing poverty and seen the least economic.

Many more factors contribute to poverty beyond just growth. Income inequality and wealth distribution can exacerbate poverty as well as limit the impact of growth because growth can only alleviate poverty if wealth is reaching the lower classes. Rates of poverty reduction are much lower in countries with more economic inequality.

In September a U.N. panel will recommend a new framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire at the end of this year. Headlining these goals will be the target of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.

– David Wilson

Source: The Economist,The Guardian