Flickr: Feed My Starving Children

We know there are 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. As global citizens, we want to make poverty history by 2030, and here are 10 things the world needs to do to make this happen:

1. Continue to support the poorest people.

Official development assistance (ODA) remains the largest resource flow for most of the countries with the lowest domestic resources, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Here – where governments often have little ability to raise tax revenue and mobilise other financial resources – aid should be used to create favourable conditions for catalysing other forms of resources for ending poverty, such as private investment and development finance.

2. End all forms of poverty.

Ending poverty is not just about people’s income but also their access to things like water, health, education, housing and security. Bringing everyone above the extreme poverty line of $1.25 a day is only the first step.

3. Commit governments to ending poverty.

Governments of developing countries should commit to lifting their citizens above the line of $1.25 per day. This needs to be underpinned by national mechanisms that target and support people living in poverty.

The Bolsa Familia programme in Brazil transfers cash directly to poor households, and decisions about allocation are based on assessments of depth of poverty rather than household composition. More than 48 million people are now enrolled in the programme. Thanks to the contribution of Bolsa Familia, extreme poverty in Brazil dropped from 20.4 million in 2003 to approximately 11.9 million in 2009.

Only five governments have commited publically to ending poverty (Brazil, Colombia, Malawi, UK and USA), and approximately 50 have made similar commitments at World Bank meetings. But ALL countries need to make this commitment if we are going to end extreme poverty by 2030.

4. Focus aid on economic potential.

Predicting and relying on sustained growth is not always possible and the benefits of growth are often not shared equally to benefit the poorest people. The benefits of growth need to be shared with the poorest people - in sub-Saharan Africa where 80% of the world’s extremely poor people are expected to live by 2030 - but also with those living in ‘pockets’ of poverty in ‘middle income countries’ like India.

5. Go country by country.

The governments of developing countries must follow their commitments with action through national poverty reduction plans. Strategic and joined-up approaches to ending extreme poverty would enable ownership over the way that public, private and aid resources are allocated and used.

6. Get everyone involved.

The governments must work with partners across different sectors – including businesses, private sector institutions, donors, aid agencies, public departments and ministries. Coordination is critical for transparent, accountable, and effective delivery. 

7. Support national efforts with international aid.

International aid can provide a basic minimum where domestic governments cannot, or will not. The UN should put ending extreme poverty at the very heart of the post-2015 agenda.

8. Get creative with investments.

To address the wider dimensions of poverty, we must harness and join-up all financial resources flowing to developing countries with the potential to reduce poverty. This includes all forms of private and public sector flows, as well as aid.

9. Improve data on poverty. 

Most developing countries use inadequate and out-of-date data. If governments are going to meet the needs of their poorest citizens, they need to know where these people live and what their needs are. We need to monitor wider, multi-dimensional aspects of poverty alongside income, and ask poor people themselves what their priorities are.

10. Demand action as global citizens. 

Everyone can play a role in ending poverty. Please get involved and ask governments and international institutions to transform commitments into action today. 

“Extreme poverty has been cut in half in the last 20 years, and the facts show that we can get it to virtually zero within a generation – but only if we act.” - Bono, musician and global activist, February 2013.

Sign the petition to call on every country to commit to support all efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030.  


Ian Townsend, Lead Analyst & Sarah Dalrymple, Advocacy & Engagement Advisor. | Development Intiatives


Demand Equity

10 Things To Do to End Extreme Poverty by 2030