â€¢ Now has largest number of extremely poor persons
Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor as of 2018, a report by the Washington-based Brookings Institution has stated.
The report titled, â€˜The Start of a New Poverty Narrative,â€™ obtained on the institutionâ€™s website, pointed out that the Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon take over the number two spot.
It said, â€œAt the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with Indiaâ€™s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall.
â€œIn fact, by the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there are today. Already, Africans account for about two-thirds of the worldâ€™s extreme poor.
â€œIf current trends persist, they will account for nine-tenths by 2030. Fourteen out of 18 countries in the worldâ€”where the number of extreme poor is risingâ€”are in Africa.â€
It noted that between January 1, 2016, when implementation of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) started, and July 2018, the world had seen about 83 million people escape extreme poverty.
However, it noted that if extreme poverty were to fall to zero by 2030, â€œWe should have already reduced the number by about 120 million, just assuming a linear trajectory.â€
According to the Brookings Institution, given a starting point of about 725 million people in extreme poverty at the beginning of 2016, there was need to reduce poverty by 1.5 people every second to achieve the SDGs, â€œand yet weâ€™ve been moving at a pace of only 1.1 people per second.â€
â€œGiven that weâ€™ve fallen behind so much, the new target rate has just increased to 1.6 people per second through 2030. At the same time, because so many countries are falling behind, the actual pace of poverty reduction is starting to slow down. Our projections show that by 2020, the pace could fall to 0.9 people per second, and to 0.5 people per second by 2022.
â€œAs we fall further behind the target pace, the task of ending extreme poverty by 2030 is becoming inexorably harder because we are running out of time. We should celebrate our achievements, but increasingly sound the alarm that not enough is being done, especially in Africa,â€ it added.