Global poverty declining, but not fast enough: Brookings

Global poverty reduction is set to remain strong in 2017, whereby the world is expected to reduce extreme poverty by 38 million people, slightly faster than in 2016, according to a recent Brookings report.

However, the bad news is that this process is not fast enough to end poverty by 2030, the Washington-based think-tank said, stating that to end poverty 1.5 people needed to escape poverty each second (or 90 per minute).

The average rate of poverty reduction in 2017 is 1.2 people per second.

“At this point the global reduction in poverty is falling short by 9.5 million people compared with the speed needed to get to zero poverty by 2030,” the November report, penned by Homi Kharas and Wolfgang Fengler stated.

Based on current projections, the world will not end poverty by 2030, it said, adding that poverty will likely be lower by about 200 million people, but 438 million people – or 5% of the world’s population – will still live in extreme poverty.

“This is because there is a high likelihood that the pace of poverty reduction will slow down markedly in the coming years. In 2022, our model predicts that only 16 million people will escape poverty, less than half the current rate.

“The slowing down of poverty reduction is mainly due to Asia, which will be getting close to ending extreme poverty, while many parts of Africa are not making sufficient progress.

“Poverty rates in Africa will go down from 34% in 2017 to 23% in 2030, however, due to population growth, poverty will only decline slightly in absolute numbers.

The Brookings report warns that if there are no dramatic short-term changes in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa will continue to see increases in the absolute number of poor people for the next five years.

Photo: A township in South Africa.  Credit: Poverties.org


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