Click here for search results


afrSub-Saharan Africa's population remains predominantly rural (70%), and poverty is widespread. Africans face formidable challenges, such as HIV/AIDS, conflict, and climate change. At the same time, rural institutions are stronger in many places and democratic forms of government create opportunities for rural people to express their views and priorities. People at all levels understand how to manage natural resources for long-term benefit, and new investments in infrastructure link once remote areas more closely to their regional and national contexts. The Africa Region of the World Bank is committed to continually seek new ways to assist the region to reduce rural poverty.

eapRural East Asia has undergone an unprecedented technological and economic transformation in recent decades that has dramatically improved food security, reduced poverty, and raised incomes. But serious problems remain. Despite substantial rural-to-urban migration, East Asia's rural population continues to grow, and the vast majority of people still depend on agriculture, forestry, or fishing for their livelihood. While rural East Asia provides the dominant share of employment and income, it is also the area with the most unemployment, underemployment, and poverty. The World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region has developed four strategic objectives to address these issues: reducing rural poverty, stimulating agricultural growth, providing food security, and supporting natural resource management.

ecaRoughly 50% of the poor in Europe and Central Asia live in rural areas. This is a considerably lower share than in the rest of the world. ECA also has the lowest poverty rates of any of the Bank's Regions. However, poverty and inequality have increased faster in this Region than anywhere else over the past decade, and these average rates mask considerable differences across countries and within countries between rural and urban areas. In more than half of ECA countries, there are more poor in rural areas than in urban areas. Thus, making a dent on poverty in the Region will require continued work in rural areas. The overriding objective of the Bank's Europe and Central Asia department is to help our client countries pursue broad-based, sustainable growth of productivity and improved social well-being in the rural economy.

lacLatin America and the Caribbean is a highly urbanized region. Of its estimated 569 million inhabitants for the year 2010, 46% live in rural areas. Projections for the year 2020 show that while the urbanization trend will continue and the share of the rural population will decline, the absolute numbers of people living in rural areas will remain roughly the same. Moreover, serious problems of equity exist and are particularly evident with respect to land distribution. The strategic importance of agriculture and the rural sector remains for four major reasons: agriculture's high contribution to employment and GDP; the impact of agriculture on the environment; the contribution of the rural sector to development of other sectors of the economy; and the higher incidence of poverty in rural areas. The overarching objective of the Bank's Latin America and Caribbean department is to reduce rural poverty and promote broad-based growth in the context of the sustainable management of natural resources.
mnaWhile measured poverty rates are lower in the Middle East and North Africa than in any other developing region, 29% of the region's population lives on less than two dollars a day. Agricultural growth has been low to negative over the past decade, and agricultural income is highly variable from year to year. In Yemen and Morocco, only half of school-age children in rural areas are in school, as compared with 80-90% in urban areas. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation for the rural population is quite low in many MNA countries and well below access in urban areas. Public social safety nets are generally quite weak in rural areas. The Bank's Middle East and North Africa department promotes strong community participation in project decision-making and has identified five priorities: rationalizing water management and policies; improving access to social and economic nfrastructure; facilitating agricultural growth and competitiveness; enhancing rural non-agricultural and private sector economic activities; and improving natural resource and environmental management.
sarDespite strong economic performance, South Asia remains among the most impoverished regions in the world. About 500 million people are still living in a state of severe deprivation, lacking sufficient access to adequate nutrition, health, housing, safe water, sanitation, and employment. Poverty in South Asia is largely a rural phenomenon. Rural poverty goes beyond inadequate incomes. Interviews of poor people in India for example, reveal their acute vulnerability to disease, crop failures, labor market fluctuations, domestic violence, natural disasters, floods and cyclones, which further exacerbate their sense of insecurity. This regional strategy for eliminating poverty has three major objectives: fostering rural growth and opportunities for rural households; empowering communities and the rural poor to meet their priority economic and social needs; and enhancing the capacity of rural households to overcome and manage insecurity and risks.









Regional Sites