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Global Index Shows Some Progress Toward Ending Poverty

Washington Post: Millions have come out of poverty. It’s a reason to hope.
Editorial Board

“…The … global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), based on data from 101 countries, covering 5.7 billion people, provides a snapshot of the progress humankind is making toward the United Nations’ ambitious goal of ending poverty ‘in all its forms everywhere.’ The latest edition of the index confirms the sobering fact that 1.3 billion people, or 23.1 percent of the 101 countries’ population, live in ‘multidimensional poverty’ — characterized by insufficient nutrition, irregular access to safe drinking water, or a lack of physical property. Yet from within the report’s details, a more optimistic picture emerges. When the authors studied changes over time in a subset of 10 countries … they discovered remarkable progress. … Broadly speaking, these hopeful indicators, in what have heretofore been considered some of the planet’s most troubled economies, show the long-term benefits — including to the poor — of market-based reforms, growth, and an open stance toward trade and investment. They also show the benefits of well-designed interventions to provide public infrastructure, such as schools and clinics. Much of the world … remains untouched by these positive trends and policies. Nevertheless, the new report confirms that it is rational to hope for, and work toward, improvement and, indeed, that hundreds of millions of people are already living better today than many would have imagined just a few years ago” (7/16).