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SDG 1 – No poverty

End poverty in all its forms and everywhere

With SDG 1, the global community had set itself the goal that no one should live in extreme poverty by 2030. Currently, however, up to 750 million people are affected by extreme poverty; they have less than USD 1.90 a day at their disposal.

In the past 30 years, over 1 billion people have been able to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. But recent developments are undoing much of the progress that has been made. Crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the Ukraine war as well as rising inflation are exacerbating existing poverty, which is rising again for the first time since 1998. According to World Bank estimates, more than 75 million people have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020 alone; in 2030, 7% of the world's population (around 574 million people) are still expected to live in extreme poverty. So it is already clear that SDG 1 is no longer achievable.

People in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are particularly affected. The danger of becoming chronically poor, i.e. no longer being able to free oneself from poverty, is particularly great for young, poorly educated people and those living in rural areas, as well as for women. Climate change and violent conflicts are further factors that increase poverty.

Poverty is not only measured by income, hunger or homelessness. Some people hardly need any money, grow their own food, but lack access to education and health facilities. Therefore, those who are restricted in their self-realisation, for example because violence and oppression prevail and human rights are not respected, can also be described as poor. As diverse as the dimensions of poverty are, as diverse must be the approaches to overcoming it.

Moreover, poverty does not affect everyone equally. Women are more often affected by poverty than men, as are children, people with disabilities, LGBTI persons and other marginalised groups, for example due to ethnic or religious affiliation. Measures to combat poverty must therefore pay particular attention to these groups.

KfW Development Bank bases the selection and design of its projects on the goal of poverty reduction. It takes into account the various dimensions of poverty and designs its projects together with the partner in such a way that they contribute to direct or structural poverty reduction. This includes income-generating measures, social transfers, voucher systems, the expansion of social and economic infrastructure, the strengthening of functioning financial systems and the development of social security systems.

Even if the global goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 can no longer be achieved, KfW remains actively committed to fighting poverty. Drawing on its economic and development experience, it focuses primarily on helping vulnerable population groups to help themselves. It strengthens partners' ownership and promotes capacity building for poverty reduction - while strictly respecting human rights.

In 2022, numerous KfW Development Bank projects contributed to the achievement of SDG 1. With just under EUR 2.2 billion, poverty alleviation is strengthened as the main goal. In addition, various projects with a total financial volume of almost EUR 4.4 billion promote poverty reduction as an important secondary goal.

“There is a system behind the crises”

An interview with Dr Jürgen Zattler, Director General at the BMZ, on poverty and development policy in times of various, overlapping crises.

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Emergency aid for the poorest

How the Social Cash Transfer Programme in Malawi works and what it does (KfW Bankengruppe/Bauer/Dähne/Schuch).

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KfW's contribution to SDG 1

  • Woman with fruits


    Promoting sustainable traditional agriculture - safeguarding livelihoods

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  • Woman with Child


    Create housing and education for refugees - reduce tensions

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  • Street with houses


    Expanding the road network - enabling economic and social participation

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  • Documents

    Development Research

    Are the successes in the global effort to alleviate poverty being systematically overestimated?

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