Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Dt. Ausg. u.d.T.:
Globale Armutsstrukturen im Wandel
(Analysen und Stellungnahmen 7/2012)
Global patterns of poverty do not look like they did twenty years ago. Many developing countries have been able to raise their average per-capita income over the last two decades; 18 have even trespassed the highly noticed – though arbitrary – ceiling differentiating between ‘low income’ and ‘middle income countries’ (LICs and MICs).
The latter event in particular has attracted much attention has the most populous countries are among those that ‘graduated’ – with the effect that 72 per cent of the extreme income-poor world-wide (defined by the 1.25 USD Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) poverty line) are now living in MICs. Donors increasingly wonder whether development co-operation should therefore focus more on the remaining LICs or rather explore new ways of assisting MICs in poverty alleviation.
We argue that whatever future development co-operation with MICs may look like, poverty eradication should take a central place in it. Even if per-capita income levels are rising in most countries, it is much too early to celebrate the end of global poverty:
The fact that some LICs have become MICs does not mean that they have been able to eradicate poverty. The recently graduated countries still account for more than half of the world’s extreme income poor people. The simple crossing an artificial per-capita income threshold is not an indicator of structural change.