WASHINGTON, D.C.: Extreme poverty this year will fall to less than 10 percent of the global population for the first time, although there is still “great concern” for millions in Africa, a World Bank report said on Sunday.
“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,” said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, which holds its annual meetings from October 9 to 11 in Lima, along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to World Bank projections, about 702 million people, or 9.6 percent of the world population, will live below the poverty line this year, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
In 2012, that number stood at 902 million, or about 13 percent of the world population.
It stood at 29 percent in 1999.
According to Kim, the continuing decline in extreme poverty is the result of dynamic economic growth in developing nations and investment in health and education, as well as social safety nets that prevented millions of people from falling back into poverty.
“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,” he said.
Previously, people living on $1.25 or less a day were defined as living in extreme poverty. That figure is now $1.90, to reflect inflation.