Global Poverty Worse Than Previously Estimated
The World Bank says that poverty in the developing world was more widespread over the past 25 years than previously thought, although progress has been made in reducing poverty overall.
The new figures, based on better cost-of-living data, indicate that 400 million more people were living in poverty in 2005, compared to the 2004 estimate of 985 million people.
“This is a pretty grim analysis coming from the World Bank,” said Elizabeth Stuart, senior policy advisor at Oxfam, to The BBC. “The urgency to act has never been greater, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where half the population of the continent lives in extreme poverty, a figure that hasn’t changed for over 25 years.”
Despite the bad news, the number of poor people is down from the estimate of 1.9 billion in 1981, and the organization notes that the developing world is on course in its goal of halving poverty from 1990 levels by 2015. And the BBC reports that taking into account world population growth, the poverty rate has actually decreased over the last 25 years.
Africa was the least successful region in reducing poverty, with the number of poor doubling from 200 million to 380 million in the past 25 years. South Asia had the most poor people with 595 million, mostly in India, and China was the most successful at poverty reduction, with numbers falling from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005.
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Tags: Poverty , World Bank , Africa , Million
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