Spikes in food prices, an increasingly unstable global climate and the prolonged economic slowdown have hurt poor people the most. The World Banks poverty experts assess how food prices, climate change, and macro-economic crises affect vulnerable populations to advise developing country governments and to inform the Bank's lending and analytic work.
Food prices: Between 2010 and 2011, higher food prices pushed 44 million people into poverty. Poor people spend a high percentage of their income on food, making them vulnerable to fluctuations in global food prices.
Climate change: Reports issued by the World Bank in 2012 and 2013 warn that rising global temperatures will roll back decades of development and threaten the livelihood of millions who live in flood-prone or drought-stricken regions. Disruptive weather and other climate change-related disasters will hit the poor the hardest as they are least able to adapt to a changing world.
Macroeconomic shocks: The 2008 financial crisis sent an estimated 53 million more people in developing countries into poverty. The prolonged global economic slowdown was estimated to cause up to 50,000 additional infant mortality deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. Every time a macroeconomic shock hits, poor people bear the brunt of the impact.
The World Bank tracks global crises closely to help nations reduce their vulnerability to future shocks, and to make sure our staff provide technical advise and financial support where the need is greatest.