By Isabel Whisson, Senior Manager, BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative and Bill Abrams, Senior Advisor, Leadership Collaborative to End Ultra-Poverty
Successive crises including COVID-19, climate change, conflicts, and the emerging global food crisis will force 75 to 95 million more people into extreme poverty this year compared to pre-pandemic estimates, according to the World Bank. With 700 million people already living in extreme poverty today (back to 2018 levels), people and societies urgently need social protection to cope with economic shocks.
By Andy Sumner, Professor of International Development, Department of International Development, School of Global Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy, King’s College London and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, Senior Fellow (Non-Resident), United Nations University WIDER; Research Associate, OPHI, University of Oxford & Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
In 2010 and the following years, there was attention to the fact that much of global poverty had shifted to middle-income countries (for example here, here, and here). The world’s poor hadn’t moved of course, but the countries that are home to large numbers of poor people had got better off on average and poverty hadn’t fallen as much as one might expect with economic growth in those countries moving from low-income to middle-income. There were also some big questions over the country categories themselves. One could say the world’s poor live not in the world’s poorest countries but in fast growing countries and countries with burgeoning domestic resources to address poverty albeit ‘locked’ by domestic political economy (who doesn’t want cheap petrol?)
By Baldwin Tong, PhD candidate, MODUL University Vienna, Department of Sustainability, Governance, and Methods
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
The global economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a large setback of the international community’s goal to achieve SDG 1 of “no poverty” by 2030. Extreme poverty around the world is increasing, the first time that has happened this century after decades of global poverty reduction. Over 700 million people worldwide are currently estimated to be living in extreme poverty. Global poverty headline numbers have therefore returned to approximately 2015 levels meaning that the world has lost almost 5 years in its effort to end extreme poverty due in large part to COVID-19. The following analysis is based on data from the World Poverty Clock.
This blog is the first of two. Part one outlines five facts about global poverty and economic development in the developing world and discusses how the nature of development is changing. Part two, which will post tomorrow, will consider the implications of these changes for future development co-operation.
Fact 1. A new polarisation is emerging in the developing world. A new polarisation is emerging within the developing world between ‘moving’ and ‘stuck’ countries, as well as between ‘high-ODA’ and ‘post-ODA’ countries.
While the past two decades saw spectacular progress in the fight against poverty, more than 10% of the world’s population – 735 million people – still live below USD 1.90 per day. Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere as envisioned in Agenda 2030 will prove challenging. Reaching the poorest is in itself difficult, but even more so is getting them onto a sustained pathway out of poverty because of the need for carefully managed, multi-sectoral interventions.
What could help? The graduation approach is one example of targeted household-level economic inclusion approaches with a proven track record of ensuring sustainable pathways out of extreme poverty.3 The graduation approach is specifically defined as a time-bound multi-sectoral “big push” intervention designed to overcome the multiple barriers that prevent extremely poor and vulnerable households from earning enough income and building sufficient human capital and assets to break out of such extreme poverty. The graduation approach typically offers extremely poor and vulnerable households a sequenced package of consumption support, of access to savings services, technical skills, transfer of productive assets, seed capital or an employment opportunity, and of coaching.
By Antonio Savoia, Global Development Institute and Effective States and Inclusive Development Centre, University of Manchester and M Niaz Asadullah, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya; Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
This blog is part of an ongoing series evaluating various facets of Development in Transition. The 2019 “Perspectives on Global Development” on “Rethinking Development Strategies” will add to this discussion
Can poverty be eradicated is the biggest question for development. Progress in poverty reduction was a central success with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Estimates suggest that as many as one billion people were lifted out of poverty. Since poverty reduction remains important for the more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it seems that the time is right to identify why poverty has been reduced so much and why some countries have seen a greater reduction than others.
Our research1 presents new evidence on what facilitates poverty reduction. We find that in more effective states, or in countries with greater state capacity, income poverty has been reduced at a significantly faster speed, and those countries are much more likely to achieve MDG 1 of halving poverty. Our estimates suggest that countries with the highest state capacity can reduce income poverty at up to twice the speed of countries with the weakest capacity.
By Michael Sheldrick, Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs, Global Citizen1
For the second year in a row, the Trump Administration has proposed slashing U.S. development assistance programs by almost a third. Even though strong support on both sides of the U.S. Congress may prevent many – but not all – of these cuts becoming law, it is clear that the best hope for this period may be maintaining current levels of support. As the largest donor country, U.S. leadership on foreign aid is incredibly impactful. For example, based on our experience at Global Citizen, business leaders and policy makers announced 390 collective commitments in response to campaigns we either led or supported between 2012 and 2017. These commitments totaled more than USD 35 billion with nearly half of that, USD 15 billion, coming from just 5 countries, including the United States. And of the total number of new commitments, the United States makes up a nearly a quarter. In fact, the United States has been one of the largest contributors to many of the causes we champion, be it polio eradication, water and sanitation, or food aid. Continue reading “Who will end global poverty?”
By Nora Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics, Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute at Tulane University, nonresident senior fellow of the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue, and non-resident senior research fellow at UNU-WIDER 1
Countries around the world committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, achieving some of the SDGs could happen at the expense of the overarching goal of reducing poverty, at least in the short-run.2One key factor to achieving the SDGs will be the availability of fiscal resources to deliver the floors in social protection, social services and infrastructure embedded in the SDGs. A significant portion of these resources is expected to come from taxes in developing countries themselves, complemented by transfers from the countries that are better off.3 In developing countries, however, raising additional taxes domestically for infrastructure, protecting the environment and social services may leave a significant portion of the poor with less cash to buy food and other essential goods. Continue reading “The SDGs, Domestic Resource Mobilisation and the Poor”
On 30 March, Htin Kyaw, a long-time adviser and ally of Aung San Suu Kyi – whose National League for Democracy party achieved a historic victory in recent elections – became the first elected civilian to hold office in Myanmar since the army took over in 1962.
The NLD won the democratic battle and enjoys unparalleled political capital and legitimacy. It must now deliver on exceedingly high expectations, build a cohesive multi-ethnic state and improve citizens’ lives. Economic progress will be indispensable if the country is to overcome years of ethnic armed conflict and move towards a common future. So what can the new government do?