The target of eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2030 is no longer feasible, the World Bank, arguably the chief driver of the global process, has declared.
The bank blamed this on three major developments: the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the climate shocks, which it described as the greatest setback in the fight against poverty since World War 2.
“These setbacks have altered the trajectory of poverty reduction in large and lasting ways, sending the world even further off course on the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030,” World Bank said in the 2022 edition of its ‘Poverty and Shared Prosperity,” released on Wednesday.
This revelation comes as the bank announced that it had raised the extreme poverty line to $2.15, from $1.90, where it has been. Correspondingly, the bank also moved the poverty line for lower-middle-income countries from (US$3.20 per day to US$3.65, and in upper-middle-income countries from US$5.50 to US$6.85.
Daily Trust reported on September 5 that the World Bank had announced in May that it would raise the poverty lines in the summer of this year in line with its standing practice. It explained that over time, the international poverty line rises due mainly to increases in prices.
World Bank President, David Malpass, noted that by 2015, global extreme poverty had been reduced by more than half. He noted, however, that since then,” poverty reduction has slowed in tandem with subdued global economic growth. The economic upheavals brought on by COVID-19 and later the war in Ukraine produced an outright reversal in progress”.
While the goal of ending poverty by 2030 is no longer achievable, Malpass noted that “574 million people-nearly 7 per cent of the world’s population-will still be living on less than US$2.15 a day in 2030, with most in Africa”.
He noted that in 2020 alone, the number of people living below the extreme poverty line rose by over 70 million. “That is the largest one-year increase since global poverty monitoring began in 1990,” he said.
In Nigeria, the national poverty line is N137,430 per person per year, which gives a national daily poverty line of N376.5 for each Nigerian, according to reports.