27 September 2010


The World Bank estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 1.9 billion in 1981 to 1.8 billion in 1990, and to about 1.4 billion in 2005. This significant reduction in poverty disguises large regional differences. Millions of people are trapped in poverty, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Students from Parade College in Melbourne, Australia expressing their support for Stand-Up day

According to the Overseas Development institute several African countries have made strong relative progress in reducing poverty, and the average proportion of people living in poverty declined from 52% in 1990 to 40% in 2008.

Ten African countries have already halved their poverty rate, including relatively populous countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt, and post-conflict countries such as Angola. Half of the African countries for which data exist have been reducing the poverty rate by at least two percentage points per year, which puts them on track to meet the MDG target of halving poverty. By contrast, in a small number of countries, such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe, the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty has risen.

With the encouragement of Edmund Rice International Edmund Rice Schools and members of the Edmund Rice Network around the globe joined in the Stand-Up Against Poverty campaign to demand action on the Millennium Development Goals. Other schools have actions planned to coincide with International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Oct 17th.

Students from Br Beausang Catholic Education Centre at Embulbul near Nairobi Kenya marching on Stand-Up day.

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