Global extreme poverty to fall below 10 percent in 2015


The World Bank has announced that the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is likely to fall to under 10 percent of the global population in 2015, according to World Bank projections released yesterday.Urban poverty in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This announcement provides 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.

Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, said that the continued major reductions in poverty were due to strong growth rates in developing countries in recent years, as well as investments in people’s education, health, and social safety nets that helped prevent people from falling back into poverty.

“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,’’ Kim said.

This announcement from the World Bank would probably come as a surprise to most people in the West. Despite the rapid and very significant fall in global poverty, there is still strong rhetoric, and a powerful narrative that suggests that world poverty is increasing due to the ‘exploitation’ of greedy Western nations. The reality is the opposite.

If there is any evidence that trade and market liberalisation eradicates poverty, this surely is it.

If we really want to make poverty history, we need to allow developing nations to industrialise, and to form trade relationships with neighbours and the developed world.

International trade, in addition to being the key behind the eradication of poverty leads to other positive effects such as boosting cultural exchange and good will between nations. Nations that have good trade relationships are less likely to go to war against each other, which is good for everyone.