New research suggests middle-income poverty could remain issue for next 20 years
In newly published research, IDS fellow Andy Sumner suggests that a fresh approach to tackling global poverty is required. He argues that global poverty is increasingly becoming an issue of national inequality with at least half and possibly up to two-thirds of the world’s poor people continuing to live in middle-income countries (MICs) up to 2030.
Based on new estimates half of the world's poor currently live in India and China; a quarter live in other populous MICs such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia and a quarter live in the remaining low-income countries (LICs).
Using IMF World Economic Outlook projections across various scenarios for economic growth, Andy Sumner suggests that middle-income poverty could remain an issue for the next 20 years. The data generated suggests that $1.25 and $2 poverty in countries that are currently MICs could still equate to about half of all world poverty in 2020 and 2030. Given that many current LICs could be MICs by 2020 or 2030, MICs may well account for two-thirds of the world's poor in 2020 and 2030.
Andy Sumner said,
"The changing distribution of global poverty away from the poorest countries to MICs suggests that a new approach to understanding and tackling extreme poverty is required as the world looks ahead beyond the 2015 MDG deadline. MICs will need and want 'traditional aid' less and less as domestic resources expand. However, concessional loans will still be useful even if grants are less appropriate given expanding resources.
Policymakers in donor countries and MICs could work together by developing a new joint focus on the chronic poor wherever they live and ensuring that the benefits of economic growth and public spending are more equitably distributed. Important aspects of this include strengthening domestic taxation systems; regulation of tax havens and untaxed capital flight from MICs; inclusive spaces for policy processes; the co-financing of global public goods and - most importantly for donors' credibility - policy coherence across donors' development policies in trade, migration and so forth."
- The Economist blog, Conflicting views about poverty
- From Poverty to Power blog, Should poverty be defined by a single international poverty line
- Simon Maxwell's blog, Looking to the future of development and humanitarian aid
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