Chart: Two decades of progress in the world’s poorest countries


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The last two decades have seen significant progress in many of the world's poorest countries. The extreme poverty rate fell from more than 50% to about 30%. Child mortality declined from nearly 14% to 7%. Access to electricity increased by 57% and the share of people using at least basic drinking water and sanitation services increased by 22% and 41%, respectively, among other results. The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. IDA provides zero- or low-interest loans and grants to countries for projects and programs that boost economic growth, build resilience, and improve the lives of poor people around the world. Since 1960, IDA has provided more than $391 billion for investments in 113 countries. As an institution of the World Bank Group, IDA combines global expertise with an exclusive focus on reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the world’s poorest countries.


Mohamed Ahmed Mukhtar
February 05, 2020

In the 20 poor countries, how were you able to collect data? and who did it,your experts or by indigenous people in each individual country?

Augustine S. korsor
February 05, 2020

Let me appreciate the IDA for helping in restoring dignity to poor countries especially Africa, where more than half of its funding is being used. I am Liberia, one of the poorest countries in the world. It is my appeal that you kindly look and find some level of help that will alleviate the extreme poverty we are going through as a nation.

Robert Oliver Ochieno
February 05, 2020

The WB -IDA has contributed immensely in rural electricity access in Kenya in supporting and promoting connectivity through the Last mile connectivity program. Very encouraging, as this goes a long way in improving the living standards of the rural citizens.
However, in Kenya, there is still a dire need for provision of cleaning drinking water in many areas for example, Counties like Busia, Siaya, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kwale among others. there is need for affirmative action towards this need.

February 05, 2020

Poverty reduction is not complete until the people at the grassroots who really needs to be empowered are reached

Audu Terver
February 05, 2020

I wish to appreciate Donna Barne for the report she gave on the progress on poverty conditions in some of the poorest countries. I believe poverty is something that cannot be totally wiped because not everyone is born rich or born in a middle income family. Where I come from in Nigeria, we see this things practically and have nothing to do about it. We see how Poverty not only affects people economically, but also has psychological, physical, health, mental, and social effects. The World Bank and other world bodies are doing a really great job and I want to say thank you. Finally, I wish to ask about how one can contribute in form of research and report in support of world banks efforts?

Don Boykin
February 05, 2020

I am pleased to understand World Banks' commitment to engage in creating opportunities for advancing the poor in our midst. I am certain there are individuals and small businesses throughout the world that also contribute to societies in similar fashion but are not associated / connected with the local governments mostly due to corruption. My wife Joyce Boykin is a 74 year old school teacher and CEO of READ SI (Solomon Islands) teaching teachers how to teach English. I am an 81 year old architect, current contributor to World Bank's Doing Business publication 2007 to the present. Is it possible for WB to engage capable individuals to contribute to social and economic development?

February 05, 2020

Oh it is great explanation. I thank you so much keep it up

Jide Ogunsola
February 05, 2020

Am of opinion that viable investment can eradicate poverty or reduced it to barest minimum. Therefore, commitment in the poorest countries will go a long way to put poverty spread in check.

James R McCray
February 05, 2020

We need a change in lifestyle. I suggest we build our enclosures as double shell green houses. This way we can survive the problems of society maybe. Self sufficiency is how we always have. Gardens ,fruit trees , solar heat and windmills and etc. ---I have an idea to build enclosure concepts that could be mass produced or you could do it yourself. Square stainless steel tubes and single pain tempered glass, and shuttered exposures so the environment can be controlled. It is based on cubes and half cubes uniformly and simply bolted together. I call it my ( tailgate enclosure concept ). I have a partial model made from wood and screws that shows the concept to some extent. --- We have such a thin atmosphere and living environment. We should do something in a huge way to change this mess we have made.--- Where can I e-mail pictures of my model. Cubes are very uniform and versatile. ---Thank you, James R. McCray --- 73 years old.

Abdul Kadir Abdullah
February 05, 2020

I just came across IDA. It has done great jobs in poverty eradication and thus elevating the success rate of the citizens of those affected countries for better, decent and respectable livings.