Working Paper
Will economic growth be sufficient to end global poverty?

New projections of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In this paper, we present new projections for a range of global poverty-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically, extreme monetary poverty, undernutrition, stunting, child mortality, maternal mortality, and access to clean water and basic sanitation.

Our projections, based on economic growth forecasts, take into account recent global shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the inflation shock. Our findings indicate that economic growth alone will not be sufficient to end global poverty, and the global poverty-related SDGs will not be met by a considerable distance.

The implication of this, we argue, is that a stronger focus is needed on inclusive growth (SDG-8), and specifically redistribution with growth at global and national levels. This would mean more emphasis on policies to build productive capacities, and the introduction or expansion of income transfers as well as ensuring public investments are sufficient to meet the SDGs. To this end new international financing needs to be made available through debt relief or other forms of finance to expand developing countries’ fiscal space.