To eradicate extreme poverty, massive global investment is required in social assistance, education and pro-poorest economic growth
— Chronic Poverty Report 2014-15: The road to zero extreme poverty

Getting to zero extreme poverty

For the poorest people, moving out of poverty can be an enormous challenge. But continuing to stay out of poverty for the rest of their lives is a much greater and for some, impossible, task. Many people rise above the poverty line only to tumble back beneath it.

Millions of vulnerable people return to extreme poverty, or become poor for the first time, when they are hit by a combination or sequence of shocks, such as a serious drought, a costly illness, and insecurity or conflict in their community. While this 'revolving door' of poverty persists, we won't be able to eradicate extreme poverty for good. 

To make sure people move out and stay out of poverty, we need to:

  1. Tackle chronic poverty

  2. Prevent impoverishment

  3. Sustain poverty escapes

Policies need to be designed with these three objectives in mind if zero extreme poverty is to become a reality.

Read more about the policies required to eradicate poverty in the Chronic Poverty Report 2014-15: The road to zero poverty.

Read the previous Chronic Poverty Report 2004-2005 and the Chronic Poverty Report 2008-2009

What is chronic poverty?

Chronic poverty is the long and grinding poverty that people live in for many years, and for some people, for their whole lives. This poverty is often passed on to their children, creating an inter-generational cycle of poverty. 

Chronically poor people need to be at the centre of poverty reduction policies if we are going to achieve the goal of eradicating extreme poverty for good.

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Photograph: Ippei Tsuruga

Photograph: Ippei Tsuruga

Our latest blog:

Ending Chronic Poverty by 2030: What is Required for Implementation? 

With the post-2015 era approaching, debates surrounding poverty have seriously started to consider what makes for quality growth in order to eliminate extreme poverty, rather than just reduce it. Zero poverty cannot be realised without tackling chronic poverty. However, due to lack of data and evidence, poverty-reduction policies hardly consider the particular situations and characteristics of the chronically poor. In order to fill such research gaps, this article examines the trends and characteristics of chronic poverty in rural Cambodia between 2004 and 2010.

Read the full blog here