By Omoh Gabriel
LAGOS—The World Bank new report on extreme poverty has stated that number of people living in extreme poverty around the world has sharply declined over the past three decades.
The bank is worried that the number still includes roughly 400 million children, or one -third of those living in such abysmal conditions.
World Bank analysis released, yesterday, for the first time gives an in-depth profile of the poorest people in the world.
The report found that 721 million fewer people lived in extreme poverty in 2010 defined as those living under $1.25 a day compared to 1981.
But it also concluded that a disproportionate number of children were among them: Children accounted for one in three of those living in extreme poverty around the world in 2010, compared with only one in five of those living above the poverty line.
In low-income countries, the percentages were even worse, with half of all children living in extreme poverty.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in the report said: “We have witnessed an historic movement of people lifting themselves out of poverty over the past three decades, but the number of children living in poverty alone should leave no doubt that there remains much work to do.
“We can reach our goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity, including sharing that prosperity with future generations, but only if we work together with new urgency. Children should not be cruelly condemned to a life without hope, without good education, and without access to quality health care. We must do better for them.”
In his remark in the report World Bank Chief Economist and Vice President, Kaushik Basu said: “The finding that over 400 million children live in extreme poverty and children are more likely to be poor than adults is disturbing, since this can exacerbate child labour and create inter-generational conflict. Hence, if we want to make a sustainable dent on global poverty, this is where we need to focus our attention.”
It will be recalled that at the April Spring Meeting of the Bank Group and IMF the Governors of the World Bank Group endorsed two global goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity by fostering income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population in developing countries. Poverty reduction globally has moved at a faster pace than expected; the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015 was reached five years ahead of time.