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Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. It also reflects a lack of opportunities and capabilities in many interlinked areas, including insecure access to food, lack of access to education, employment, healthcare, drinking water and sanitation, lack of political participation, insecure personal safety conditions, and lack of productive opportunities deriving from eroding natural resource bases.

Rural poverty counts for more than three-quarters of extreme poverty. One of many development actors working to reduce poverty, FAO’s comparative advantages lie in its integrated people-centred approach to rural poverty reduction, an approach very much in keeping with sustainable development.

Investing in rural people by establishing social protection systems, building rural-urban linkages and defining policies focused on boosting the incomes of the critical agents of change - smallholder producers, foresters, fisherfolk, indigenous people, rural women and youth - have the potential to produce dramatic and lasting effects on the economies of developing countries.

Central to its mission, FAO contributes to the elimination of rural poverty by developing the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to strengthen rural institutions and organizations that empower rural people, with a focus on the most marginalized.

Facts and figures

  • The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving extreme poverty by the end of 2015 has been met, but progress has been uneven, with a few Asian countries, primarily China, accounting for most of the decline
  • About 836 million people still live in extreme poverty, the overwhelming majority living in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa
  • Seventy-eight percent of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas, with the majority dependent on agriculture
  • About one in five people in developing regions are poor
  • High poverty rates are often found in small, fragile and conflict-affected countries
  • The rate of poverty reduction has been much slower in low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the absolute number of poor has risen
  • Only 27 percent of the world population enjoys sufficient social protection. Half of the world are excluded
  • Social protection tends to stimulate the local economy, with positive effects on agricultural production, rural employment and poverty reduction
  • Ending poverty and hunger using natural resources sustainably depend in large part on how people gain access to land, fisheries and forests


SDG1 Targets

  1. By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  2. By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  3. Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  4. By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
  5. By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

a. Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions

b. Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions



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