Nepal is a country full of untapped potential, but several obstacles stand in its way of becoming a more modern and globally connected economy. Outdated trade and investment policies hurt exporters especially and make it difficult for them to reach markets in developed countries. A new World Bank Group report takes stock of current participation in global markets and makes recommendations on how the country can increase trade integration and boost its economy.
India is home to the largest number of poor people in the world, as well as the largest number of people who have recently escaped poverty. Despite an emerging middle class, many of India’s people are still vulnerable to falling back into poverty, making the country uniquely placed to drive global poverty reduction. In the last few weeks, a new blog series analyzed publicly available data to better understand what has driven poverty reduction from the mid-1990s until 2012, and the potential pathways that can lead to a more prosperous India. Learn more
Many countries are struggling to improve national learning averages in core subjects such as reading, mathematics and science. While the majority of students reach the lowest international benchmark level in core subjects by the age of 14 or 15, a significant proportion do not. For those that fail, they are unlikely to be able to master these skills by the end of their schooling. This will impact on their ability to join the labor force and have productive jobs. Sustainable Development Goal 4 looks to “ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” in an attempt to widen the talents of a country’s future workforce and set the stage for increased economic growth. Education assessments, while not wholly comparable, shed light on countries’ achievements or gaps in the provision of a high quality and effective education system.
A third of the world’s population is under 20 years old. But some countries are younger than others. In around 40 African countries, over 50% the population is under 20. By contrast, in 30 richer countries, less than 20% of the population is under 20.
Sustainable Development Goal 1 is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and has two specific poverty reduction targets. One target (SDG 1.1) talks of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, building on a globally comparable notion of extreme poverty. Extreme poverty fell from 37 percent to 13 percent between 1990 and 2012; and based on national growth rates over the past 10 years, the global extreme poverty rate is estimated to be below 10 percent in 2015, a drop of more than two-thirds since 1990.
This post briefly explains how extreme poverty is measured and makes five main points:
- A large number of people have moved out of poverty since 1990, and impressively, even though the world’s population grew by 2 billion, there are over a billion fewer poor people.
- There are many countries with relatively low poverty rates that still have large numbers of the globally extreme poor living there (e.g. China, India).
- At the same time, there are a large number of countries with stubbornly high poverty rates where relatively small numbers of the world’s extremely poor live (e.g Haiti, Uganda).
- Since the SDGs focus on “no one left behind”, when looking at poverty across the world, both rates and numbers matter.
- SDG target 1.2 aims to halve national poverty rates in all its dimensions between 2015 and 2030 – as it’s based on country-specific understanding of poverty (which often differ) it’s relevant for all countries, rich and poor alike.
The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's poorest countries. Over the past 25 years, IDA countries have seen progress on many fronts. These include greater access to clean water and sanitation, improvements in school completion rates, higher rates of childhood vaccination and higher rates of mobile phone use.
Around the world, 30 percent of the world’s burden of disease is estimated to be caused by conditions requiring the care of a surgeon. Such conditions are estimated to cost low- and middle-income countries up to USD 12.3 trillion in lost economic output by 2030. Moreover, 81 million individuals face financial ruin due to expenses incurred while receiving surgical care each year.when they need it. The impact of surgical disease is not trivial;
The delivery of surgery is critical for the realization of many of the Sustainable Development Goals: Good health and well-being (Goal 3); No poverty (Goal 1); Gender equality (Goal 5), and Reducing inequalities (Goal 10).
Describing access to surgery as a treatment modality or platform of care, with relevant country-level data requires a rigorous deconstruction of the components of access upon which national governments can intervene. To this end, Dr. Jim Kim challenged the surgical community in 2014 to develop surgical indicators, along with “time-bound targets” to which the world can aspire.
In 2016, emerging markets and developing economies are forecast to grow by 3.5% - slightly lower than the recent average. Within this group, trends vary between commodity exporters and importers. In 2016, importers are expected to see steady 5.8% growth, but exporters are struggling to adjust to persistently low commodity prices and are forecast to grow only 0.4%. Read more in the The June 2016 Global Economic Prospects report.
Water and sanitation linked to many development factors
Despite halving the number of people worldwide without access to an improved water source over the past 25 years, the poorest countries are struggling to provide safe water and adequate sanitation to all their citizens in a sustainable manner. Just over a quarter of people in low-income countries had access to an improved sanitation facility, compared with just over half in lower middle-income countries in 2015. Delivery of water supply and sanitation is no longer just a challenge of service provision, but it is intrinsically linked with climate change, water resources management, water scarcity and water quality.