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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, January 22, 2018

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World Bank says global poverty to hit new low this year

The best story in the world today

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WASHINGTON - The number of people living in extreme poverty will fall to less than 10 percent of the world's population for the first time in the recorded history, the World Bank said, calling the projection "the best story in the world today".

The Washington-based bank said Sunday that it expected the number of people who survive on $1.90 a day to drop from 12.8 percent of the human population in 2012 to 9.6 percent this year.

"This is the best story in the world today -- these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a press release.

"This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty."

This gives "fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030", the bank statement said.

The Bank uses an updated international poverty line of $1.90 a day, which incorporates new information on differences in the cost of living across countries.

The new line preserves the real purchasing power of the previous line of $1.25 a day in 2005 prices in the world's poorest countries.

"Using this new line as well as new country-level data on living standards, the World Bank projects that global poverty will have fallen from 902 million people or 12.8 percent of the global population in 2012 to 702 million people, or 9.6 percent of the global population, this year," the statement said.

The bank released the projections ahead of its annual meeting in Peru where Bank's President Jim Yong Kim will push global leaders to increase the institution's capital base, arguing that a slowdown in emerging markets and ambitious UN development goals agreed last month mean the bank needs greater resources.

According to the Financial Times, Kim plans to use this week's annual meeting to lobby World Bank shareholders to boost the $253 billion capital base of its main arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

However, some of the bank's 188 members are resisting the idea, saying the bank should do more with its current resources to meet rising demand for its loans, the Times said.> BNN

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