Washington: Countries like India, which accounts for nearly one third of the people living in poverty globally, need to complement efforts to enhance growth with policies that allocate more resources to the extreme poor, the World Bank said Thursday.
In a report, the global lender said resources can be distributed through the growth process itself by promoting more inclusive growth or through government programmes such as conditional and direct cash transfers.
The World Bank report noted that it is imperative not just to lift people out of extreme poverty but it is also important to make sure that in the long run they do not get stuck just above the extreme poverty line due to lack of opportunities that might impede the progress toward better livelihoods.
Countries like India need to complement efforts to enhance growth with policies that allocate more resources to the extreme poor, the report said.
The top five countries in terms of numbers of poor are India (with 33 per cent of the world’s poor), China (13 per cent), Nigeria (7 per cent), Bangladesh (6 per cent) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (5 per cent) which together are home to nearly 760 million of the world’s poor.
Adding another five countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya – would encompass almost 80 per cent of the extreme poor.
Hence, a sharp emphasis on these countries will be central to ending extreme poverty, the report said.
“Economic growth has been vital for reducing extreme poverty and improving the lives of many poor people,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.
“Yet, even if all countries grow at the same rates as over the past 20 years and if the income distribution remains unchanged, world poverty will only fall by 10 per cent by 2030, from 17.7 per cent in 2010,” Kim said.
“This is simply not enough and we need a laser like focus on making growth more inclusive and targeting more programmes to assist the poor directly if we’re going to end extreme poverty,” he said.
“To end extreme poverty, the vast numbers of the poorest- those earning less than USD 1.25 a day – will have to decrease by 50 million people each year until 2030,” the World Bank President said.