Exciting Poverty News, But Gap Still Remains

World Food Day; The world is turning around, but a lot of people don´t have enough food; hungry.
World Food Day; The world is turning around, but a lot of people don´t have enough food; hungry.

You may have heard the exciting news: extreme poverty is down by 65 percent, and the World Bank expects global extreme poverty to fall below 10 percent this year.

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In Agusan del Sur province, Philippines, Napoleon Apolinario plows part of his field with the water buffalo his family received from Heifer International. Photo by Olivier Asselin, courtesy of Heifer International.

Additionally, the World Bank has updated the international extreme poverty line to $1.90 per person, per day (up from $1.25). The new poverty line reflects updated purchasing power parity (PPP) figures for the world's 15 poorest countries. Something to understand, however, is that these calculations rely on 2011 PPPs, and that $1.90 in 2011 affords someone about the same things as $1.25 did in 2005.

At Heifer International, we are working to establish country-specific living incomes, which will be higher than $1.90 per person, per day, in most countries where we work. We are doing this because we want to ensure our families move so far out of poverty that they are at a very low risk of falling back into poverty. We want their farms to be so productive they can count on farming as a profitable business for generations to come.

So yes, celebrate that fewer than 10 percent of the world's population will live on less than $1.90 a day, but remember there are millions who live between that line and a true living income. This is the gap we must close.

This post first appeared on Heifer International's blog.