Kenya among countries with majority of people in extreme poverty: WB

Kenya among countries with majority of people in extreme poverty: WB

Kenya is among eight out of the 10 Sub-Saharan countries with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty.

According to the World Bank, the other countries include Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda.

“Today, the largest number of extremely poor people are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa,” the WB report reads.

The most pernicious form of poverty recognised under the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is extreme poverty.

This is defined as living on less than $1.90 (Ksh.211.65) a day and is applied regardless of where a person lives.

The Bank stated that the economic effects of COVID-19 may have pushed more than 100 million more people around the world into extreme poverty—the first significant increase in this measure in decades.

Eradicating extreme poverty by 2030 is the focus of SDG.

The World Bank notes that in 2015, when the SDGs were adopted, that target appeared ambitious but within reach.

“In fact, the remarkable reduction of extreme poverty in the last few decades is one of the success stories of global development,” the Bank says adding that if that trend had continued beyond 2017, the SDG target would be met six years early.

However, projections suggest this outcome will not be achieved.

Even under reasonably optimistic scenarios developed before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank avers that 6.1 percent of the world’s people would likely have still been living in extreme poverty by 2030.

At the beginning of the 1990s, countries in Europe and North America, had almost no extreme poverty, while a handful of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and South Asia had extreme poverty rates over 70 percent.

Two very populous and very poor countries—China and India—accounted for 60 percent of extremely poor people.

The World Bank report states that China reduced its extreme poverty rate from 57 percent in 1993 to under 1 percent in the most recent household survey year.

India’s achievement was reportedly not as dramatic, but still substantial.

It halved its extreme poverty rate between 1993 and 2011 and its 2017 rate is estimated to be just above the world average of 9.2 percent.

“India will continue to be an important contributor to reducing global extreme poverty,” the Bank says.

Extreme poverty rate is said to have declined in Sub-Saharan Africa too, from about 60 percent in 1993 to about 40 percent in 2017.

But because of rapid population growth, the Bank notes that the number of people living in extreme poverty rose from 335 million to 431 million.

Since 2011, South Asia has not been the global center of extreme poverty.