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Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Target

 Goal 1
  • Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day
  • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
  • Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

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Poverty rates:
Share of population living on less than $1.25 a day, % (2005)
Poverty rate map
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With the resurgence of growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of Africans living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 58 percent in 1990 to 51 percent in 2005—but the absolute number of poor people rose from 296 million to 388 million.

Much of the global progress in poverty reduction is attributable to East Asia, which reduced its incidence of poverty from 55 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2005. China reduced it from 60 percent to 16 percent, as the absolute number of extreme poor people fell from 683 million to 208 million. India reduced it from 51 percent to 42 percent, but the number of poor people rose from 436 million to 456 million because of a growing population.

Figure 1.4 Poverty reduction
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The recent food crisis has complicated progress on malnutrition and hunger. The developing world is not on track to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Moreover, malnutrition among children and pregnant women has a multiplier effect, accounting for more than a third of the disease burden of children under age five and over 20 percent of maternal mortality. The proportion of children under five who are underweight declined from 33 percent in developing countries in 1990 to 26 percent in 2006, a much slower pace than needed to halve it by 2015. Progress has been slowest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with severe to moderate stunting affecting as many as 35 percent of children under five—more than 140 million children.

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Progress on full and productive employment, especially for women, was lacking even before the crisis. The employment-to-population ratio is the proportion of a country’s working-age population (ages 15 years and older) that is employed. There are of course considerable underemployment in informal sectors or subsistent activities of rural areas that are hard to account for in developing countries. The female ratios have consistently been lower than male ratios, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia. Nonetheless, progress is noted in the female ratios for Latin America and Caribbean and to a slight extent the Middle East and North Africa.

Figure 1.9 employment
Click to enlarge image: GIF (26 KB) | PDF (126 KB)

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MDG 1 Outlook

The global MDG target of 21 percent poverty is the one most likely to be exceeded. By 2015, the global income poverty rate is projected to be 15 percent, slightly higher than the 14.1 percent it would have been without the crisis, but still exceeding the target thanks to past gains. The crisis will leave an additional 64 million people in extreme poverty by the end of 2010. And as a result of the crisis, 53 million fewer people will have escaped poverty by 2015. Despite Africa’s recent progress, the pace of economic growth is still not fast enough to cut the 1990 poverty rate by half by 2015.

Table A.4.1 Alternate scenarios
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