The World Bank says fewer people are living in extreme poverty around the world today, siting new data indicating that the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68m to 736m between 2013 and 2015.
A statement by the bank released on Thursday said the percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10% in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11% in 2013, reflecting steady but slowing progress.
While noting that the deceleration in global numbers stems mainly from an increasing concentration of extreme poverty in regions where poverty reduction has lagged, it noted the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, “where, under all but the most optimistic scenarios, poverty will remain in double digits by 2030, (due to) absent significant shifts in policy. Slowing declines in poverty also reflect falling commodity prices, conflict, and other economic challenges for developing countries.
The World Bank’s preliminary forecast is that extreme poverty has declined to 8.6 percent in 2018, noting the slowing decline in poverty rates, raising concerns about achieving the goal of ending poverty by 2030 and pointing to the need for increased pro-poor investments, the World Bank finds.
The statement quoted World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, as saying: “Over the last 25 years, more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty, and the global poverty rate is now lower than it has ever been in recorded history. This is one of the greatest human achievements of our time.
“But if we are going to end poverty by 2030, we need much more investment, particularly in building human capital, to help promote the inclusive growth it will take to reach the remaining poor. For their sake, we cannot fail,” he added.
The World Bank lamented that despite the tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty, rates remain stubbornly high in low-income countries and those affected by conflict and political upheaval.
The estimates will be published in “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018: Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle,” a report to be released on End Poverty Day- October 17.
The report lamented that although nearly half of the world’s countries now have poverty rates below 3%, the world as a whole, is not on track to achieve the target of less than 3% of the world living in extreme poverty by 2030.
In the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, the extreme poverty rate dropped an average of a percentage point per year – from nearly 36% to 10%, but the rate dropped only one percentage point in the two years from 2013 to 2015.
The deceleration in global numbers stems mainly from an increasing concentration of extreme poverty in regions where poverty reduction has lagged. A case in point is Sub-Saharan Africa, where, under all but the most optimistic scenarios, poverty will remain in double digits by 2030, absent significant shifts in policy. Slowing declines in poverty also reflect falling commodity prices, conflict, and other economic challenges for developing countries.
Two regions, East Asia and Pacific and Europe and Central Asia, the statement added, have reduced extreme poverty to below 3%; while the Middle East and North Africa region had previously been below 3% in 2013, but conflict in Syria and Yemen raised its poverty rate in 2015.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Thursday announced palsn for a Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS), beginning on September 27.
Statistician General of the Federation and Chief executive of the NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, announced this at a One Day Stakeholder’s Sensitisation Workshop on NLSS in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Already, he assured, “all the background work, all the plenary exercise have been done and we are informing people so they can ask their questions and help us sensitise the public.
“From next week, trained field officers will be deployed to selected households in enumerated areas across the country over the next 12 months.”
Data to be collected by the field officers, he said, will include “information on consumption, expenditure, assets and general living conditions.”
According to him, the accurate provision of this information will ensure that indicators that reflect the true living condition of households in the country are produced, thereby providing government and its partners the best possible information to work with, in molding policies and programmes to ensure the best chance of success.
Kale said a lot of quality assurance measures and checks had been put in place to ensure good results from the field.
“Like all NBS household-based surveys, this round of NLSS, will for the first time be carried out using electronic means of data collection.
For him: “It is from this exercise that we derive statistically sound indicators for measuring poverty and inequality in Nigeria.
“It also serves as a major source of data for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for tracking Nigeria’s attainment or otherwise, of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The subject of poverty is very critical to a developing country like Nigeria, most, if not all of government effort is geared towards ensuring that citizens are able to attain a decent standard of living,” Kale stressed further.