(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The developing world has made a "considerable" progress in fighting extreme poverty, where the percentage of people living on less that USD 1.25 a day and the number of poor declined between 2005-2008, the World Bank reported here late Wednesday.
According to estimates released by the World Bank, an estimated 1.29 billion people in 2008 lived below USD 1.25 a day, equivalent to 22 percent of the population of the developing world.
The Bank indicated that more recent post-2008 analysis reveals that "while the food, fuel and financial crises over the past four years had at times sharp negative impacts on vulnerable populations and slowed the rate of poverty reduction in some countries, global poverty overall kept falling."
Preliminary survey-based estimates for 2010 indicate that the USD 1.25 a day poverty rate had fallen to under half of its 1990 value by 2010, meaning that "the first Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty from its 1990 level has been achieved before the 2015 deadline." In this regard, Director of the Bank's Research Group and leader of the team that produced the numbers Martin Ravallion said in a statement that "the developing world as a whole has made considerable progress in fighting extreme poverty."
He added that "663 million people who moved above the poverty lines typical of the poorest countries are still poor by the standards of middle-high-income countries." "This bunching up just above the extreme poverty line is indicative of the vulnerability facing a great many poor people in the world. And at the current rate of progress, around 1 billion people would still live in extreme poverty in 2015," he stressed.
As for the Middle East and North Africa, the Bank indicated that the region had 8.6 million people, 2.7 percent of the population, living on less than USD 1.25 a day in 2008, down from 10.5 million in 2005 and 16.5 million in 1981.