Poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education. Relative poverty is defined contextually as economic inequality in the location or society in which people live.
After the industrial revolution, mass production in factories made production goods increasingly less expensive and more accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture, such as fertilizers, to provide enough yield to feed the population. Responding to basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government's ability to deliver services, such as corruption, tax avoidance, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, economic freedoms, and providing financial services.
Poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank estimated 1.29 billion people were living in absolute poverty in 2008. Of these, about 400 million people in absolute poverty lived in India and 173 million people in China. In terms of percentage of regional populations, sub-Saharan Africa at 47% had the highest incidence rate of absolute poverty in 2008. Between 1990 and 2010, about 663 million people moved above the absolute poverty level. Still, extreme poverty is a global challenge; it is observed in all parts of the world, including developed economies. UNICEF estimates half the worlds children (or 1.1 billion) live in poverty.
Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is consistent over time and between countries. First introduced in 1990, the dollar a day poverty line measured absolute poverty by...