There is exceptionally good news on the economic growth front.
The report shows that for the first time the proportion of people living in extreme poverty — on less than $1.25 a day — fell in every developing region from 2005 to 2008. And the biggest recession since the Great Depression seems not to have thrown that trend off course, preliminary data from 2010 indicate.
The progress is so drastic that the world has met the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to cut extreme poverty in half five years before its 2015 deadline.
But perhaps the most surprising success story is sub-Saharan Africa, where the proportion of people living in extreme poverty actually increased through the 1990s, before declining in the 2000s.
“People used to worry, ‘Is Africa going to be poor forever?’ ” said Mr. Kenny of the Center for Global Development. “Well, it doesn’t really look like it, does it?”
Read the whole thing, entitled “Dire Poverty Falls Despite Global Slump” in the March 7th issue of The New York Times.