6 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Tracking Progress

Extreme poverty declined from 58% in 1991 to 51% in 2006. This is a positive trend, but the rate of change at current levels would be too slow to meet the target of 29% by 2015, which would halve extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is also much higher in rural areas at 67% compared to 20% in urban areas. However, the poverty gap ratio declined from 62.2% in 1991 to 34% in 2006, indicating that the severity of poverty declined sharply, and providing evidence that with the right policies and investments the incidence of poverty can fall fairly quickly. On the nutrition indicator, the prevalence of underweight children declined from 25.1% in 1992 to 14.6% in 2007. However, stunting in children remains a major issue of concern and should be addressed by appropriate nutrition, health and education strategies particularly targeted at pregnant women and children in their first 1,000 days after birth.

Sustained and robust economic growth is essential but not sufficient on its own for the achievement of this goal. Macroeconomic and structural policies that promote job creation, economic inclusion, social empowerment and significant levels of investment in health and education are essential. Some key policy and investment choices that can accelerate the achievement of the MDG 1 targets include:

  1. Commercialization of small scale agriculture and diversification of the rural economy;
  2. Implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies;
  3. An institutionalized social security system to protect the most vulnerable; and
  4. More accessible and efficient service delivery that reaches the poorest.

UNDP's work in Zambia

Targets for MDG1
  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Poverty gap ratio
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
    • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
    • Employment-to-population ratio
    • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption