First, the Chronic Poverty Report 2014-15, produced by the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network and published by ODI.
The report focuses on the policies needed to get to zero extreme poverty. It argues that this is a tripartite challenge: to get close to zero, 'countries need to tackle chronic poverty, stop impoverishment and ensure that those who manage to escape from poverty sustain their escapes'. One of its most interesting findings:
Until now, the focus has been on helping people to escape from poverty, but for those living in chronic poverty, who often face multiple disadvantages, any escape is likely to be short-lived. The poorest people often lack the skills, education or assets (such as land) to keep their heads permanently above the poverty line and are very likely to fall back into poverty if they are hit by shocks such as illness, unemployment, old age, a disability, extreme climate events, or conflict. Progress on poverty reduction to date, while impressive, has had less of an impact on these people than on those who were already closer to the poverty line, or those who were only temporarily poor.
It is a detailed report (186 pages), but worth delving into. For those who want the snapshot, Duncan Green over at fp2p has kindly provided a great overview.
Second, poverty in the Pacific. The World Bank's recent report, Hardship and Vulnerability in the Pacific Island Countries, is the first comprehensive survey of poverty and inequality in the Pacific in over a decade. One of the most striking findings is that while extreme poverty in the region is rare, hardship is not. More than 20% of people in the Pacific are unable to meet their basic needs (such as food, fuel and medicines). Inequality is also on the rise. And economic and environmental shocks (like natural disasters) push vulnerable households back into hardship.
An interesting panel discussion of the report (and broader issues relating to poverty in the Pacific) is available here.
Photo by Flickr user Shabbir Siraj.