by: World Bank
At the start of a new century, poverty remains a global problem of
huge proportions. Of the world's 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live
on less than $2 a day and 1.2 billion on less than $1 a day. Eight out
of 100 infants do not live to see their 5th birthday. Nine of 100 boys
and 14 of 100 girls who reach school age do not attend school. Poverty
is also evident in poor people's lack of political power and voice
and in their vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation,
personal violence and natural disasters. The scourge of HIV/AIDS, the
frequency and brutality of civil conflicts, and rising disparities
between rich countries and the developing world have increased the
sense of deprivation and injustice for many.
World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty (which
follows 2 other World Development Reports on poverty, in 1980
and 1990) argues that major reductions in all these dimensions of
poverty are indeed possible—that the interaction of markets,
state institutions, and civil societies can harness the forces of
economic integration and technological change to serve the interests of
poor people and increase their share of society's prosperity.
Actions are needed in 3 complementary areas: promoting economic
opportunities for poor people through equitable growth, better access
to markets, and expanded assets; facilitating empowerment by making
state institutions more responsive to poor people and removing social
barriers that exclude women, ethnic and racial groups, and the socially
disadvantaged; and enhancing security by preventing and managing
economywide shocks and providing mechanisms to reduce the sources of
vulnerability that poor people face. But actions by countries and
communities will not be enough. Global actions need to complement
national and local initiatives to achieve maximum benefit for poor
people throughout the world.
A copublication of the World Bank and Oxford University Press.
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