WASHINGTON, December 2, 2020 – COVID-related school closures risk pushing an additional 72 million primary school aged children into learning poverty—meaning that they are unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10—according to two new World Bank reports released today. The reports outline a new vision for learning and the investments and policies, including on education technology, that countries can implement today to realize this vision.
She dreams of furthering her education, moving to the city, and someday working in a bank, so that she can help her family, her village, and her country. But her parents, who are farm workers, sometimes don’t have the money to pay her school fees without taking out a loan.
The March 2020 global poverty update added more than 200 new surveys to PovcalNet,
bringing the total number of surveys to more than 1,900. New poverty estimates for the reference year 2018 are now included for some regions, and the previously published global and regional estimates from 1981 to 2015 have been revised, reflecting data revisions and the availability of new data. More details on the revisions can be found in Atamanov et al. (2020).
- A new report estimates that by 2030 up to two-thirds of the global extreme poor will be living in FCS, making it evident that without intensified action, the global poverty goals will not be met.
- The new report, “Fragility and Conflict: On the Front Lines of the Fight against Poverty” notes that the 43 countries in the world with the highest poverty rates are in FCS and/or Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The number of people living in proximity to conflict — defined as within 60 kilometers of at least 25 conflict-related deaths — has nearly doubled since 2007.
Globally, the prevalence of fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS) continues to rise. The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide has more than doubled since 2012, exceeding 74 million in 2018. A new report estimates that by 2030 up to two-thirds of the global extreme poor may be living in FCS, making it evident that without intensified action, the global poverty goals will not be met.
The new report, “Fragility and Conflict: On the Front Lines of the Fight against Poverty,” notes that the 43 countries in the world with the highest poverty rates are in FCS and/or Sub-Saharan Africa. Economies facing chronic fragility and conflict have had poverty rates stuck at over 40 percent in the past decade, while countries that have escaped FCS have cut their poverty rates by more than half. Today, a person living in an economy facing chronic fragility and conflict is 10 times more likely to be poor than a person living in a country that hasn’t been in conflict or fragility in the past 20 years.
I have read the many reports that summarize the dire state of the climate and our planet’s worsening prospects. I know the hard statistics docum
enting rising temperatures, the increasing intensity of natural disasters and warmer seas. I have been meeting with representatives from developing countries who have one request:
As this decade comes to an end, the world has seen progress on many fronts. The poorest countries have greater access to water, electricity, and sanitation (i.e., a toilet). Poverty and child mortality have fallen. Technology has spread far and wide so that there are now more mobile phones than people. But we’ve also broken some of the wrong kinds of records. In 2019, more people were forcibly displaced than any other time in history. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit an all-time high and biodiversity is declining at an accelerating rate. These charts highlight some remarkable achievements and the serious challenges that remain as we head into 2020.
For most children, turning 10 is an exciting moment. They’re learning more about the world and expanding their horizons. But too many children – more than half of all 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries – cannot read and understand a simple story.That is unacceptable.
Unsustainable debt. Debt distress. Debt trap. These dire terms are once again back in the headlines, just a decade after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
In the past five years alone, public debt in the poorest countries has increased from 36 percent of GDP to 51 percent of GDP. In addition, debt-service ratios in some countries are rising at an alarming pace, threatening countries’ ability to invest in much-needed infrastructure, education, health and many other needs crucial for lifting their citizens out of poverty and achieving the international community’s Sustainable Development Goals by their 2030 deadline.
These figures often reflect unfulfilled aspirations and lack of opportunity.
If you are born into a low-income family, what are the chances that you will rise higher regardless of your background? The ability to move up the income ladder, both in one’s lifetime and with respect to one’s parents, matters for fighting poverty, reducing inequality, and even for boosting growth. Yet, mobility has stalled in recent years in large parts of the world, with the prospects of too many people across the world still too closely tied to their parents’ social status rather than their own potential, according to the findings of a new World Bank report launched today. Mobility is also much lower, on the average, in developing economies than in high-income economies. The developing world accounts for 46 of the bottom 50 economies in terms of mobility in education from the bottom to the top.