Studies recently carried out by Oxford University and the United Nations report a brighter global picture than could ever have been predicted. Worldwide extreme income poverty has plunged from 43 per cent in 1990 to just 22 per cent in 2008. They predict that countries among the most impoverished could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates; deprivation in Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh could disappear within the lifetime of present generations, with Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia and Bolivia following on close behind. “The world is witnessing an epochal ‘global rebalancing’ with higher growth in at least 40 poor countries” concludes the UN report.
Underpinning this poverty reduction has been developing countries’ increasing share of global trade, with international and national aid and development projects investing in schools, health clinics, housing, infrastructure and improved access to water. According to Helen Clark, UN Development Programme Administrator, these countries are investing in their people.