The first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) calls for the development community to reduce the global rate of extreme income poverty—measured by the share of the population living on less than $1 per day—by half between 1990 and 2015. Current trends suggest that if the developing world can maintain the growth momentum of the past 15 years, it will meet this MDG. Numerically, the reduction in the global poverty rate owes the most to impressive advances in China and India, but it has also been helped by acceleration in income growth elsewhere in the developing world in recent years. The past year has seen strong growth and poverty reduction in much of the developing world as a result of improved developing-country policies and a global environment conducive to growth.
Under the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1), the international community aims to halve the global rate of extreme income poverty—as measured by the share of the population living on less than $1 per day—between 1990 and 2015. Current trends and growth forecasts indicate that this goal will be achieved, although not in Sub-Saharan Africa. High growth in China and India explains much of the reduction in the global poverty rate, although progress toward MDG1 has also quickened in many other developing countries. High growth has continued in most of the developing world in the past year as a result of better policies in developing countries and a favorable global environment. The outlook for growth and poverty reduction remains favorable, although some risks remain. In particular, low-income country per capita growth is expected to remain above 5 percent in 2007.1
What is the human cost of the global economic crisis? How many people will the crisis prevent from escaping poverty, and how many will remain hungry? How many more infants will die? Are children being pulled out of schools, making it virtually impossible to reach 100 percent completion in primary education by 2015? What are the gender dimensions of the impacts? These are some of the questions as the global economy comes out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Monterrey Consensus have created a powerful global compact for development.1 But the continued credibility of this compact hinges on fostering momentum in its implementation. With the five-year stocktaking of implementation of the Millennium Declaration focusing increased global attention on development, 2005 is a crucial year to build momentum.
Following a long uninterrupted period of strong global expansion, world economic growth has begun to moderate in response to the continuing financial market turbulence that started in August 2007. Although downside risks have increased, global growth prospects remain broadly positive, with world GDP growth in 2008 slowing to a projected 3.7 percent, from 4.9 percent in 2007. What makes this period of economic expansion different from previous periods is the broad-based character of the growth momentum: emerging market economies and other developing countries have rapidly increased their shares in global production and trade.1 The resulting convergence of income levels between advanced and developing economies helps in the fight against poverty, because poverty reduction will be elusive without strong, private sector-based economic growth. The increasing significance of developing countries as attractive places to invest, the international migration of labor, and the emergence of new donors have also changed the composition of international financial flows: private capital and workers’ remittances have grown in importance as main sources of financing in many developing countries. The benefits of the global expansion, however, have not reached all developing countries, especially the many fragile states where per capita growth rates remain negative. Also, income inequality has risen within many countries, mainly as a result of the effects of technological progress on relative wages of unskilled workers, confirming the importance of improving access by low-income workers to high-quality education.