Africa to harbour 9 of 10 extremely poor people by 2030, warns World Bank
The World Bank raised a shocking concern on Thursday that nine out of every 10 extremely poor people globally by 2030 are projected to live in African, a situation that would likely jeopardise their primary goal of ending extreme poverty by that time.
Newly elected president of the World Bank, David Malpass, announced this while briefing the press at the ongoing Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group in Washington DC.
“Globally, extreme poverty has dropped to 700 million at the last count, that is down from much higher levels in the 1990s and 2000s,” he said.
But the number of people living in extreme poverty is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa.
“By 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will be Africans, and half of the world’s poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected settings,” Malpass said, adding, “This calls for urgent action – by countries themselves, and by the global community.”
According to the bank’s numbers, global growth lost momentum throughout 2018, falling 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 3.3 percent in the Q1, based on its calculations.
The deceleration was seen in both advanced and developing economies, and coincided with three other warning signs: waning structural reforms in major economies; financial stress in some large emerging markets, and elevated policy uncertainty globally.
On current trends, per capita income growth in sub-Saharan Africa, as a whole, is now projected to stay below 1 percent until at least 2021, which elevates the risk of a further concentration of extreme poverty on the continent. Growth in median income will also be weak, according the bank’s projections.
“This fact is extremely troubling, because it jeopardises the World Bank’s primary goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030,” Malpass noted.
He assured that the World Bank Group would continue to play an increasingly vital role in leading on global challenges that people face in developing countries.
“Our mission is clear and important. The bank’s role is particularly important in poorer countries, where the global economic slowdown that began last year hits people the hardest.
“Fortunately, the World Bank Group is financially strong. And with the capital package – which was agreed to a year ago at the Spring Meetings, and which I was proud to support – the organisation is becoming even more responsive, efficient, and effective,” he said.