Viewpoint 5: The human face of development: Investing in people
When we look at the world today, we see impressive gains as well as daunting challenges. The Millennium Development Goal target of halving extreme poverty rates was met at the global level five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. There are now more than 100 middle-income countries, as diverse as Brazil, Lesotho and Vanuatu. It is estimated that developing countries’ share of the global middle-class population will rise from 55 per cent today to 78 per cent by 2025. However, amid rising affluence in some countries and regions, there is also growing inequality. In 2015, there will still be 970 million people living in poverty – the vast majority of them in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And there remain 842 million chronically undernourished people in the world. Volatile commodity prices bring hunger to the poorest, and instability to markets and societies. Climate change and environmental degradation throw long shadows over all of humanity’s gains. Against this background, we must confront the question of how humankind is going to continue to feed and sustain itself in the future.