Publication date: January 1997
Reducing poverty in developing countries is one of the most persistent challenge facing the world today. The governments and civil societies of developing countries are in the forefront of the battle to reduce poverty. Institutions such as the World Bank are working to improve their efforts to help governments. The Bank works with governments in supporting poverty reduction objectives in a wide variety of ways, including by providing information, analysis and financial assistance, and by liaising with other donors. This report examines how far developing countries have come towards meeting the challenge of reducing poverty since 1990 and how the Bank's support for their efforts has evolved. The report concludes that some progress has been made in reducing poverty in the developing world since the late 1980s, although there have been important regional variations in both outcomes and circumstances. It confirms the crucial importance of growth for reducing poverty. The report also finds that the Bank has made good progress in implementing its poverty reduction strategy, but the challenge remains substantial. The report is organized as follows. Chapter 1 examines worldwide trends in poverty and welfare indicators from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s and assesses the extent to which poverty has fallen. Chapter 2 outlines how the Bank has been supporting government efforts to reduce poverty at the country level since 1990 and reports on progress made by the Bank in fiscal 1995. Chapter 3 uses the latest household survey data and other sources of information to explore the impact that various key factors (growth, adjustment reforms, public expenditures, and projects) have had on reducing poverty. Finally, chapter 4 discusses important lessons learned about reducing poverty and highlights several areas that need to be emphasized in the future.
Publisher: World Bank