Perhaps most remarkable of all are the widespread improvements in the global war on poverty is in basic health.
Diarrhea killed 5 million children a year in 1990, but less than 1 million in 2014. Malaria deaths have been cut by half since 2000, and deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have both fallen by one-third.
Because of better nutrition, greater access to immunizations, and success in fighting diseases, life expectancy at birth has increased from 50 years in 1960 to 65 years today.
The biggest health gains have been for children. The rate of child death has declined in every country in the world since 1980
At the same time, economic growth has accelerated, and average incomes have risen. As incomes have risen and democracy has spread, conflict, war, and violence have fallen sharply. (This fact surprises anyone reading the daily news about Syria, Yemen, or Afghanistan.)
The fight against extreme poverty is far from over. Not all developing countries are making progress, and even in those that are, not everyone is moving forward. There are still 700 million people living in extreme poverty. Every year, 6 million children die of preventable diseases. Many countries, especially the poorest, remain vulnerable to calamities such as the Ebola outbreak that swept through West Africa in 2014. Too few women and girls get the opportunities they deserve. Nevertheless, the changes over the past two decades are a big start–the strongest and most promising start ever–in improving the well-being of millions of people in many of the world’s poorest countries.
[Christian Science Monitor]