Progress in poverty reduction

"Progress in selected human development indicators in Bangladesh" © UNISDR with data from the World Bank (UNISDR, 2015a [GAR15])


Many countries have made significant progress in human development, in poverty reduction and in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Between 1990 and 2010, the proportion of people living below the poverty line more than halved, dropping from around 43% to just over 20% (data from the World Bank). Since 1990, the number of people living on less than US$1.25 per day fell from 51% of the population to 30% in Southern Asia and from 56% to 48% in sub-Saharan Africa (United Nations, 2014). In the same period, under-5 mortality fell from 178 to 109 per 1,000 births in sub-Saharan Africa and from 116 to 61 per 1,000 births in Southern Asia (United Nations, 2014).

In Bangladesh, an innovative cyclone shelter programme has helped the country dramatically reduce tropical cyclone mortality since the 1970s. Bangladesh’s major success in reducing mortality from tropical cyclones is supported not only by cyclone shelters but also by a slow but steady improvement in the provision of basic education, health and sanitation, and by a reduction in the number of people living below the poverty line.

Disaster mortality can be expected to fall as development conditions improve and vulnerability is reduced. There is a greater chance that roads exist to allow evacuation, that affected people can receive timely medical assistance and that greater levels of literacy and primary education strengthen people’s understanding of warnings and disaster preparedness plans. Rising incomes and strengthened governance have also gone hand in hand with enhanced disaster management.

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Cyclone Bangladesh