Saturday, July 09, 2011

Global Poverty Rate is Dropping

The global poverty rate is falling. An annual progress report shows that the Millennium Development Goals are on track to lower poverty rates despite the recent economic set backs.

The poverty rate is expected to fall by 15% by 2015. This is a significant achievement as it is well below the 23% target that was set.

And interestingly, it is not the developed countries that are making the difference. The world remains on track due to the momentum of growth in the developing world. In fact, the number of people in developing countries that live in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day) is estimated to fall below 900 million due to the growth of developing countries in the last decades.

East Asia has the record for the greatest reduction in poverty, especially China and India. In both countries the number of people living in poverty fell by 455 million between 1990 and 2005.

Despite these significant reductions in poverty, world hunger remains an issue, which is another target of the Millennium Development Goals. Access to food and high food prices has proved to be a problem for policy makers.

"We have success stories," stated Bank Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, "but achieving all the MDGs will require extra effort." Progress is not universal and the benefits are not evenly shared.

According to Ban Ki-moon, achieving the MDGs will require equitable and inclusive economic growth that reaches everyone. "World leaders must show no only that they care, but that they have the courage and conviction to act."

-Gabrielle Gurian