Women walking towards their small farms, Mozambique. To eradicate extreme poverty investments have to be focused on rural areas.
Photo: © IFAD/Clarissa Baldin


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Global economic downturn is causing 38 million more people to remain in extreme poverty than previously thought. Almost all of the countries with large numbers remaining in extreme poverty in 2030 will be in sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia; rural areas will be hit hardest.

Robust economic growth in developing countries—which has far outpaced that of most high-income countries—contributed mightily to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty by half five years ahead of its 2015 deadline.

But efforts to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030—the first UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)—are now jeopardised by a deteriorating global economic outlook, according to the study “The global economic slowdown: Implications for the rural poor” released in September 2016.

The study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), conceptualised and financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), takes into account changes in projected growth rates in both key driver economies such as the United States, Europe and China, and in many developing countries.

Rural areas will be hit hardest

The study estimates that the extreme poverty rate in 2030 will be 5.2 per cent, not the 4.8 per cent projected without the global economic downturn.

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