World Bank data indicates that global poverty rate is declining. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of those living in extreme poverty keeps rising. The Nigerian Sustainability Business Principles (NSBP), which was established to reverse the trend and bring better life to Africans, has brought stakeholders in the financial sector together to enhance economic growth and promote common good through sustainable banking practices, writes COLLINS NWEZE.

The World Bank poverty index is not looking good for sub-Saharan Africa. While the global rate of poverty is declining, its rate in sub-Saharan Africa is rising.

But to reduce poverty rate in the region requires collective action from financial institutions and implementation of sustainable banking principles that promote financial inclusion and  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

For instance, two years ago, about 28 per cent of the African population was found to be severely food insecured, rising about three per cent from 2014.

The continent is also found to have the highest prevalence of undernourishment, which is about 20 per cent. Aside poverty as a primary factor, others such as conflict, lack of investment in agriculture and environmental challenges, have been said to be responsible for this. Those living in poverty cannot often afford food of sufficient quality or quantity to live a healthy life.

In 2018, the World Bank reported that extreme poverty has rapidly declined globally, with estimates showing that the number of extremely poor people- those who live on $1.90 a day or less—has fallen from 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 736 million in 2015. However, the number of people living in extreme poverty keeps increasing in the sub-Saharan Africa, actually peaking in 2018 with 437 million people, and then slowly will decline again to reach 416 million in 2030.

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