Extreme poverty, absolute poverty, destitution or penury, was originally defined by the United Nations in 1995 as "a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services." In 2008, "extreme poverty" widely refers to earning below the international poverty line of $1.25/day (in 2005 prices), set by the World Bank. This measure is the equivalent to earning $1.00 a day in 1996 US prices, hence the widely used expression, living on "less than a dollar a day." The vast majority of those in extreme poverty – 96% – reside in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, The West Indies, East Asia and the Pacific; nearly half live in India and China alone.
The reduction of extreme poverty and hunger was the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1), as set by 189 United Nations Member States in 2000. Specifically, MDG1 set a target of reducing the extreme poverty rate in half by 2015, a goal that was met 5 years ahead of schedule. This goal was created to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, and the international community, including the UN, the World Bank and the United States, has set a target of ending extreme poverty by 2030....LESS