International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Message from UNDP Administrator on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2018

October 16, 2018


Theme: Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world
of universal respect for human rights and dignity

In the 25 years since the first International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, human development has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and has increased economic and social opportunities for many more across the world.  

In India alone, some 271 million people have escaped poverty in just ten years.  The investments we are making in people are working.

Yet, while hundreds of millions of people have moved above the poverty line, we are not yet reaching everyone.  


For UNDP’s special feature on Multidimensional Poverty and the people behind the numbers, visit


1.3 billion people still live in multidimensional poverty, meaning they are not just poor in terms of income, they are also lacking in health, education, and living standards. And they risk falling behind further when faced with conflict, sickness, unemployment, or natural disaster.

Soaring inequality also threatens progress. On average, a child born today in a country with very high human development can expect to live almost 20 years longer and be in school seven years more than a child born in a country with low human development. These statistics represent lost opportunities for millions. 

This is not inevitable.

Doubling down on Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals is our best bet to not only end extreme poverty, but to curb inequality and fast-track progress for the people who have been left furthest behind.

As this year’s theme reminds us, ensuring access to basic needs like water, food, shelter, or safety will also give back some basic human rights and dignity to millions of people. 

On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let’s reflect on the progress made, and recommit to ensuring no one is left behind.