Less than 10 percent of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty conditions by the end of 2015, according to the latest World Bank projections. About 200 million people have moved above the international extreme poverty line since 2012, the organization said.
The current extreme poverty line stands at $1.90 of purchasing power per day, up from $1.25 in 2005, the World Bank said. Improved economic conditions in developing countries will cause the number of people affected by extreme poverty to drop to 9.6 percent, or about 702 million people, by the end of the year, down from 12.8 percent of the world’s population, or about 902 million, in 2012, according to the World Bank's projections.
“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,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. “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."
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Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest remaining instance of extreme poverty, with some 35 percent of its population expected to be living below the poverty line by the end of 2015. Projections suggest about 13.5 percent of South Asia’s population will be living in poverty by the end of the year, down from 18.8 percent in 2012. The World Bank touted progress on its stated goal of ending worldwide poverty by 2030 but warned regional conflict and instability could impede further improvement.
“It will be extraordinarily hard, especially in a period of slower global growth, volatile financial markets, conflict, high youth unemployment and the growing impact of climate change,” Kim said. “But it remains within our grasp, as long as our high aspirations are matched by country-led plans that help the still millions of people living in extreme poverty.”
The World Bank previously estimated that about 835 million people would be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015, the Financial Times reported.
The institution released its latest figures days after members of the United Nations adopted new measures aimed at ending global poverty by 2030. The U.N. will spend between $3.5 trillion and $5 trillion to fight poverty and climate change over that period, Agence France-Presse reported.