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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Best Buys for Africa: Graduation from ultra-poverty

Fast-track Analysis

“End poverty in all its forms everywhere”, the first of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), has direct and indirect links with many of the other SDG targets. While the world has seen unprecedented decline in extreme poverty in the first decade of this millennium, the recent statistics indicate this goal will be challenging to achieve. According to World Bank (2018) estimates, decline in extreme poverty is slowing down. The proportion of people living below 1.9 dollars a day has declined from 11.2% to 10% between 2013 and 2015. As of 2015, there are about 736 million people living in extreme poverty, of whom more than half (413 million) are living in Sub-Saharan Africa. In their projections, in all but the most optimistic scenarios, the rate will remain in double digit. Economic growth alone is clearly not enough to reach the targets. Increasing the depth and coverage of social protection, which is an SDG target on its own, is going to play an important role for us to achieve the SDG of endling poverty.