In recent years, historic progress has been made to end extreme poverty around the globe. More than 1 billion people lifted themselves out of poverty in the past 15 years alone. In 2015, for the first time ever, the World Bank Group forecast that the global percentage of people living in extreme poverty fell under 10 percent. This is a remarkable milestone.
Yet the world today faces challenges that are as complex and vexing as at any time in recent memory. Strong economic headwinds have slowed global growth; fragility and conflict have displaced tens of millions of people from their homes; countries and their economies are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change–related shocks; and a pandemic can spread quickly without warning. We are all affected by these challenges, but the stark truth is that people living in extreme poverty are hit first and hardest.