Millennium Development Goals call for reducing the proportion of
people living on less than $1 a day to half the 1990 level by
2015 - from 27.9 percent of all people in low and middle income
economies to 14.0 percent. The Goals also call for halving
the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and
If projected growth remains on track,
global poverty rates will fall to 12.7 percent
– less than half the 1990 level – and 363 million more people
will avert extreme poverty. And while poverty would not be
eradicated, that would bring us much closer to the day when
we can say that all the world's people have at least the bare
minimum to eat and clothe themselves. Progress in eradicating
hunger, on the other hand, has been slow and the situation has been
worsening in some regions.
level down since 1990, but progress is uneven: There were
at least 118 million fewer people living in extreme poverty at the
decade’s end than at its beginning. And if projected growth
remains on track, global poverty rates will fall to 12.5 percent –
less than half the 1990 level – and 366 million more people will
avert extreme poverty. But rapid progress in Asia and a return to
pre-transition poverty levels in Europe and Central Asia will do
nothing to alleviate the crushing burden of poverty in Sub-Saharan
Africa, where more than 314 million people will continue to live on
less than $1 a day.
the poverty goal and projections to 2015
Over the last decade, poverty rates
have declined in many regions, except for Europe and Central Asia,
the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The
greatest number of poor people live in South Asia, but the
proportion of poor is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where slow
economic growth has left millions at the margins of survival.
Per capita consumption of $1 a day
represents a minimum standard of living, yet more than a billion people live on less. In middle-income economies a poverty line of $2 is closer to the practical minimum.
In 2001 an estimated 2.73 billion people were living on less than $2
a day - more than half population in the developing world. The
numbers living on less than $2 a day will continue to rise in the
Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Improvements
will be greatest in East Asia and Pacific. But by 2015, if present
trends continue, the poverty rate measured at this higher line will
have fallen by no more than 20 percent from its 1990 level.
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion
of people who suffer from hunger.
Malnutrition plays a role in more than half
of all child deaths. Malnutrition in children is caused by consuming too little food energy to meet
the body's needs. Adding to the problem are diets that lack essential nutrients, illnesses that deplete those nutrients, and undernourished mothers who give birth to underweight children.
Raising incomes and reducing poverty is part of the answer. But even poor countries need not suffer high rates of child malnutrition. They can make big improvements through such low-cost measures as nutrition education and micronutrient supplement and fortification. Other things that help include improving the status and education of women, increasing government commitment to health and nutrition, and developing an effective health infrastructure.
malnutrition levels in the first and the second half of the 1990s
Prevalence rates of underweight children have been falling in
most regions, but too slowly to achieve the 2015 target, and in many
regions the number of hungry people continues to grow. By 2001, only
the East Asia and Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean
regions had fewer undernourished people than 10 years earlier. For
prevalence rates of underweight children, progress have been fastest in
East Asia and the Pacific, where child malnutrition rates declined
by 33 percent, and South Asia, where rates declined 25 percent. But
many countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, lag behind.
in the proportion of
population consuming too little food to maintain normal level of
1990-92 the number of undernourished people in developing countries
has fallen by 20 million, and the prevalence of undernourishment by
3 percentage points. Regional trends show the greatest progress in
East Asia and Pacific, but the rates of malnutrition remain high in
South Asia, and they are rising in Sub-Saharan Africa