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Global challenge created by Erik Willekens Friday, April 25, 2014

Details

Extreme poverty is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.

The world attained the first Millennium Development Goal target—to cut the 1990 poverty rate in half by 2015—five years ahead of schedule, in 2010. Despite this progress, the number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high. According to World Bank numbers from 2011, just over one billion people lived under the Extreme poverty line (less than $1.25 a day).

One billion people living in utter misery is not acceptable. This number is steadily decreasing but we believe more can be done to bring about faster change. Join us to find new solutions to eradicating extreme poverty.

Statistics

842 million people (or one in eight people in the world) do not have enough to eat.

China pulled 680 million people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% in 2013.

In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much.

The problem

Poverty goes beyond lack of income. It encompasses economic, social, and governance dimensions. Economically, the poor are not only deprived of income and resources, but of opportunities. Markets and jobs are often difficult to access, because of low capabilities and geographical and social exclusion. Limited access to education affects the ability of the poor to get jobs and to obtain information that could improve the quality of their lives. Poor health due to inadequate nutrition, hygiene and health services further limits their prospects for work and from realizing their mental and physical potential. This fragile position is exacerbated by insecurity. Living in marginal conditions with no resources to fall back on, shocks become hard or impossible to offset. The situation is made worse by the structure of societies and institutions that tends to exclude the poor from participating in decision-making over the direction of social and economic development.

Focusing question

How can we reduce extreme poverty and lift the last 1 billion poor out of a life of suffering?

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