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Escaping chronic poverty through economic growth

Briefing/policy papers

Tackling chronic poverty is the global priority for our generation. Between 320 and 443 million people are now trapped in poverty, and many of these people will remain in poverty for their entire lifetime. We are talking about a number roughly equivalent to the combined populations of the US and Japan.

The Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09 states that there are clear limits to the extent to which economic growth alone can tackle chronic poverty. Many Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs) lack an adequate conception of what it means to be chronically poor. They are therefore largely bereft of ideas on how to effectively connect chronically poor people to the growth process, and what to do for the chronically poor who are left out. In this Policy Brief, we discuss how chronically poor people participate in growth (or are excluded), and how different forms of growth connect to poverty. We highlight important policy levers, in relation to agriculture, urbanisation, social protection and fiscal reform.

Ursula Grant