and Central Asia, poverty rates and numbers of poor people have increased, although there have been signs of progress since the late 1990s.

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FIGURE I 2-1 The regional picture: Uneven progress.

SOURCE: Presentation by Martin Ravallion, The World Bank, February 16, 2011.

The situation in Sub-Saharan Africa stands out with little change in poverty rates and substantial increases in the number of people deemed poor using the $1.25 a day poverty line for 1981–2005. The number of poor has almost doubled between 1981 and 2005, increasing from 200 million to 380 million. Furthermore, Ravallion noted that there is a greater depth of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the mean consumption of the poor estimated at only 70 cents a day, making it the lowest in the world. However, he also noted that there have been encouraging signs of greater progress against poverty in Africa since the mid-1990s.

Challenges Ahead

Household surveys. During the last 10 to 20 years, there has been a huge expansion in the coverage of household surveys, expanding from just 22 countries in 1990 to 116 countries in 2011. Coverage is especially good in East Asia, South Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Latin America, but lagging in the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, in the Middle East and North Africa region there is no public access to the data,



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