Reducing Inequalities Ends Extreme Poverty by 2030
By admin January 25, 2017

Currently 10.7 percent of the world’s population, or about 767 million people live with less than $1.90 US dollar per day. In light of this reality, the World Bank set an ambitious goal to end extreme poverty by 2030. This means reducing the percentage of people living with less than 1.90 US dollars per day from 10.7 percent to 3 percent. The World Bank is also determined to boost the incomes of the bottom 40 percent of the population in each country by 2030 in an effort to promote shared prosperity. In order to understand global poverty and how to achieve these goals, the World Bank published a study in 2016, entitled: “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Taking on Inequality”.

Reducing extreme poverty

Even though it is far from enough, it is important to note that there were 100 million people less living in extreme poverty from 2012 to 2013. More data show that in 2010, the world attained the first Millennium Development Goal target of reducing extreme poverty rates in half by 2015.

The challenges remain very real in the fight against extreme poverty as those who still live in these conditions live in remote areas with difficult access to schools, healthcare, electricity, safe water, and other basic services. In recent years, extreme poverty has concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, counting for 50 percent (389 million people) of the world’s extreme poor. There is a common explanation for the reduction of extreme poverty worldwide in the recent years and the concentration of the extreme poor in one region. Indeed, the diminution of extreme poverty was due to the rapid development of China, Indonesia, and India.

The other major challenge is to keep those with improved living conditions out of extreme poverty as natural or man-made disasters, as well as political, social, and economic instabilities, remain potential threats for a prospering nation’s sustainable development.

The traditional way to reduce poverty is to promote growth. But according to the World Bank, global growth at the current and estimated rate will not be enough to end extreme poverty by 2030. We therefore need to focus global efforts on making the current and estimated growth benefit the poorest population more than it benefits the average. In order for this to happen, we need to reduce inequality in countries where the poorest populations live.

Reducing inequality

The second goal set by the World Bank for 2030, boosting the incomes of the poorest 40 percent, serves the first goal of ending extreme poverty.

In order to reduce inequalities, the World Bank identifies six strategic focus areas over the next two decades:

  • Early childhood development and nutrition
  • Universal health coverage
  • Universal access to quality education
  • Cash transfers to poor families
  • Improved infrastructure, particularly in rural areas
  • Progressive taxation (to improve wealth distribution)

Kim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank since 2012, argued that some of these measures could rapidly affect income inequality, while others take more time to show their impact. He continued to explain that results may vary from one country to another but the policies they’ve identified have worked repeatedly in different settings around the world.


Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Taking on Inequality. Published by the World BankThe Development Research Group of the World Bank

The Guardian


The World Economic Forum


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