The World Bank’s chief economist Kaushik Basu’s “Measuring poverty in a rapidly changing world” tells us that the Bank will soon adjust its measure of global extreme poverty. The new metric would capture changes in living standards and consider more poverty dimensions than money. The Financial Times gives us more. The global poverty line is expected to rise from $1.25/person/day to $1.92/person/day, bringing the total number of extreme poor to 1.158 billion with larger shares in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. How many of these would be children? A formal announcement will be made at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in 2 weeks and more refinements should come out of Basu’s Commission on poverty next April. Watch that space.
The Pope is in town. Traffic is paralyzed. We are “working from home”. A couple of months ago, I read this and that, and tried to convince a few colleagues and friends that we had reached Peak Pope. I failed. Indeed, the lovefest is still on. Development organizations are more and more eager to work with religious actors. While lack of trust and understanding persists at both ends, motivations can align and collaboration lead to progress even on sensitive issues such as female genital mutilation or child marriage. And related to this, find three write-ups killing myths about child marriage and Islam, here, here, and here.
My map of the week is The Economist’s “Boundary fences and walls worldwide”. We referenced this map, originally found in Courrier International, in our 2015 “predictions” to highlight the growing number of walls and fences being erected to block migration and terrorism. This trend is accompanied by a globalization of the fortified fence market estimated at $17 billion in 2011. What a paradox.
My quote of the week is from Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”.