Episode 24: The New Bottom Billion

Andy Sumner (Institute for Development Studies) has published a new paper which argues that the global poverty problem has changed because most of the world’s poor no longer live in low-income countries (LICs).  In 1990, about 93 per cent of the world’s poor people lived in LICs. Andy’s paper shows that in 2007-8, three-quarters of the world’s approximately 1.3bn poor people lived in middle-income countries (MICs) and only about a quarter of the world’s poor – about 370mn people – live in the remaining 39 low-income countries, which are largely in sub-Saharan Africa.

Andy Sumner and Claire Melamed

In this episode of Development Drums, Andy Sumner and Claire Melamed (Head of the Growth and Equity Programme at ODI) discuss the implications of this new data about where most of the world’s poor live.   If there are millions of people living in poverty in middle income countries, does this mean that growth does not lead to poverty reduction? What are the implications for donor countries? Do they have any interest in the income distribution in other nations, or is that an entirely internal matter?  Should aid be allocated differently as a results of these new figures? And what are the implications for non-aid development policies?

Download Andy’s paper, “Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion”.

Running time 44 minutes; size 22.3 Mb.

Download transcript (pdf)

2 thoughts on “Episode 24: The New Bottom Billion

  1. Dear Andy & Claire,
    The wonderful contribution on about poverty. I too agree your contribution. It gives eye opining to the policy makers in Low Income Countries.

  2. Great discussion.

    Can’t we just put in place a policy focused on education (at all four levels and to include technical training) and measure it’s progress according to the quality of it and not the quantity? Wouldn’t that solve the aid effectiveness problem? If only there was one solution.

Comments are closed.