PovcalNet is an interactive computational tool that allows users to replicate the calculations made by the World Bank's researchers in estimating the extent of absolute poverty in the world. PovcalNet was developed for the sole purpose of public replication of the World Bank's poverty measures for its widely used international poverty lines, including $1.25 a day and $2 a day.
(See also Global Practices.) One of 14 new World Bank Group Global Practices, Poverty identifies key policies and multisectoral solutions that effectively reduce poverty and benefit the less well off.
World Bank Group and Poverty
The Bank Group works closely with governments to develop sound policies so that the poor and the less well-off in every country can improve their livelihoods and have access to social and infrastructure services and good jobs. In April 2013, the World Bank Group set two new goals: ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable way. The first goal, to eradicate extreme poverty within a generation, includes a specific target: to decrease the global extreme poverty rate to no more than 3 percent by 2030. This is possible but challenging, and galvanizing efforts to fight against extreme poverty is critical, as many low-income countries and most fragile and conflict-affected states will face significant challenges in meeting this target.
The second goal, to boost shared prosperity, is measured by the growth in income among the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution in each country. This goal helps the World Bank Group focus on the welfare of the less well-off wherever they are and includes a strong emphasis on tackling persistent inequalities that keep people in poverty from generation to generation.
Despite progress in poverty reduction and human welfare in the past decade, extreme poverty and inequality persist at unacceptably high levels in many parts of the world. In order to tackle the last miles of extreme poverty and to boost shared prosperity, countries must address several critical development challenges. In particular, it will be necessary to improve upon historical growth trends, ensuring that growth benefits the poorest; to sustain past welfare gains in the face of slow global growth; and to promote equal access to opportunities for all.
The Poverty Global Practice works closely with country governments and across the World
The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund empowers the targeted poor by increasing incomes, improving productive capacity, and providing access to services to achieve sustainable livelihoods. Since the Third Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF III) in July 2009, approximately 10 million vulnerable and marginalized people have benefited from the program interventions, more than half of them women. © World Bank /Visual News Associates (photographer). Permission required for reuse.
Bank Group to create cutting-edge knowledge and expertise, to analyze data in order to better understand constraints to and opportunities for poverty reduction and shared prosperity, to ensure that a strong evidence base is a critical part of the development dialogue, and to help governments improve their capacity and accountability for results. The Poverty Global Practice works with country, regional, and global teams across all Global Practices to provide a more robust evidence base and sharpen the poverty reduction focus of WBG operations in a way that is reflected in the composition and effectiveness of programs.
The World Bank Group will continue to be a global leader in poverty reduction and shared prosperity and will use its global reach and convening capabilities to share ideas, knowledge, and lessons learned with client and partner countries, with the goal of working together to end poverty within a generation and improve the welfare of the less-well-off in every country.
IFC and Poverty
IFC assists in the fight against poverty by helping build the private sector in developing countries. It focuses many of its investment and advisory services on sectors that have the most direct effect on living standards, jobs, and economic growth, including financial services, infrastructure, information and communication technologies, small and medium enterprises, microfinance, health, and education. IFC's five strategic priorities all aim to reduce poverty and improve living standards:
• Strengthening the focus on frontier markets
• Addressing climate change and ensuring environmental and social sustainability
• Addressing constraints to private sector growth in infrastructure, health, education, and the food-supply chain
• Developing local financial markets
• Building long-term client relationships in emerging markets
MIGA and Poverty
MIGA promotes foreign direct investment in developing countries to help support economic-growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives. It focuses on insuring investments in the areas where it can make the greatest difference in development, including infrastructure, manufacturing, services, power, oil and gas, agribusiness, and banking.