Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015 – from 1.9 billion to 836 million – too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs.
Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than US$1.25 a day, many lacking access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.
Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of those living in extreme poverty. New threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring people out of poverty.
The Arab region is the only region in the world where poverty has increased since 2010, based on the extreme poverty headcount (population whose income is less than USD 1.25 per day). In 2010, 4 percent of the population of the Arab region was living below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 per day, while 40 percent were living below USD 2.75 per day.
The SDGs are a bold commitment to finish what we started, and end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing access to basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.