Global poverty has fallen sharply over the last 25 years according to UN development report

But Millennium Development Goal targets haven't all been met

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The Independent Online

Global poverty has dropped sharply over the last 25 years, according to the final United Nations report on the world’s Millennium Development Goals.

Between 1990 and 2015, the period in which the goals were measured, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 1.9 billion to 846 million.

Though dramatic, the fall represents a narrow miss in terms of halving the number of people in extreme poverty.

Meanwhile, number of undernourished people fell from 23.3 per cent to 12.9 per cent.

“The report confirms that the global efforts to achieve the goals have saved millions of lives and improved conditions for millions more around the world,” UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said at the report’s launch.

“The MDGs helped to lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, to make inroads against hunger, to enable more girls to attend school than ever before and to protect our planet.

“Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven.”

Though established in the year 2000, the goals measure changes based on 1990 levels.


Most of the gains were made in China, with a population of over a billion people. The country reduced its extreme poverty from 61 per cent in 1990 to 4 per cent this year.

Other goals, such as those targeted at improved sanitation or the reduction of HIV/AIDS infection, were less successful, the report said.

Mr Ban said he was optimistic that humanity would be able to make further progress on the subject.

“There is no question that we can deliver on our shared responsibility to end poverty, leave no one behind and create a world of dignity for all,” he said.

This September the world’s nations will agree a new set of “sustainable development goals” to set the global agenda for the next 15 years.