SEATTLE, Washington — The World Bank noted in Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle that 10 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty in 2015. This number is a monumental improvement from the statistics in 1990 when a third of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. No single country can lead the fight against global poverty by itself. It takes a united world to fully eradicate poverty and its symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about the top countries and regions participating in the fight against global poverty.
Top Countries and Regions in the Fight Against Global Poverty
- Denmark has placed either first or second in the Center for Global Development’s Commitment to Development Index (CDI) for the past five years. The index ranks the fight against global poverty by the contribution of the 27 richest countries. It measures each nation on policy areas such as aid, trade and finance. Denmark spends 0.72 percent of its Gross National Income (GNI) on foreign aid, meeting U.N. targets. Denmark also boasts above-average trade policies in regards to creating an economic atmosphere where developing countries can actually grow.
- Sweden budgets out more of its GNI than any other country on the CDI with 1.01 percent while also having the most pro-environment record. Sweden also has trade policies that benefit developing nations. Another important contribution to Sweden’s world standing is its acceptance of refugees since the country is taking in the highest percentage of refugees per capita.
- Europe as a whole performs as one of the best in the fight against global poverty. CDI rankings have only listed European nations in the top five spots within the past five years. In fact, the 2018 CDI has only European nations in the top 10. This is not to say that every individual country within Europe is performing perfectly. The ways in which Europe has performed as a whole in the fight against poverty has allowed for migration from the poorest countries on Earth and contributed to economic gains for the poorer nations. Symbolized by low greenhouse gas emissions and agreements that European nations have committed to, Europe strongly supports the fight against global climate change.
- New middle-class African countries have become a symbol of hope to other nations dealing with mass extreme poverty despite centuries of colonialism and imperialism. Poverty involves living on less than $1.99 a day. According to the OECD, a middle-class person lives on between $2 and $10 a day. Having this definition in mind, the term middle-class is rather relative and misguiding. The fight needs financial assistance, openness to migration and solidarity from richer nations. However, the most stable African, Asian and South American nations have to lead the fight against poverty within their geographical regions.
- China has most certainly prided itself with its commitment to the fight against global poverty. According to AidData, China spends more money annually on global development projects than the United States. However, the reason many do not consider China as a top performer in the fight against global poverty is that the financial assistance from China is mysterious. The Chinese government does not disclose where the money for foreign aid is going. The majority of the money China gives goes toward profit-driven investments. Nevertheless, in the last 40 years, China has performed well in the fight against global poverty by helping approximately 700 million people out of poverty.
- The United States has had issues in the past with technology sharing and financial transparency. That is not the reason why it is not on the list of top performers. The fact is that there have been little to no improvements made in aid policies. High greenhouse gas emissions and the absence of U.S. participation in climate agreements show that the U.S. is also not doing its fair share in the fight against global climate change. Moreover, the Trump administration proposed a significantly reduced International Affairs Budget for 2020, allotting 24 percent less than what was offered for 2019. The U.S. uses this budget to fight pandemics, provide medications for AIDS and HIV and give relief from natural disasters, among other areas.
The bottom line is that most nations have made improvements in the fight against global poverty, but every developed nation can do more. Through global participation, poverty can be alleviated.
– Kurt Thiele