Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015, too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs.
As of 2015, about 736 million people still lived on less than US$1.90 a day; many lack food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Poverty manifests itself diminished opportunities for livelihood and quality education, lack of access to resources, social discrimination and exposure and vulnerability to extreme climate events. Women are more likely to be poor than men because they have less paid work, education, and own less property.
New threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring people out of poverty. This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.
It also implies paying attention to other determinants that influence poverty such as socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental factors.
India is implementing a comprehensive development strategy to end poverty in all its forms. The strategy encompasses focussing on economic growth, supporting poverty alleviation programmes, providing gainful employment, strengthening livelihood opportunities and improving access to basic services particularly for the socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of the population.
This is supported by providing institutional platforms, technological support and other financial services. Over the last two decades there have been large advancements in economic growth and poverty reduction.
According to the Tendulkar Committee estimates, poverty rates in India declined by 18% between 1993-94 and 2004-05 and further declined by 41% between 2004-05 and 2011-12. As of 2011, 21.9% of India's population is below the poverty line.