[Excerpt] Asia and the Paciﬁc continues to lead the world in reducing extreme poverty, deﬁned as the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day. In 1981, the region had 1.59 billion people living in poverty—a poverty rate of 69.8%. The number of poor people in the region has fallen to 1.48 billion people in 1990 with the poverty rate decreasing to 54.7%. By 2005, the poverty rate fell further to 26.7%.
However, the $1.25 per day poverty line is increasingly seen as inadequate for assessing the extent of extreme poverty for three main reasons:
- (i) the $1.25 per day poverty line is based on a sample that is largely composed of African countries;
- (ii) the impact of food insecurity on poverty incidence in the region; and
- (iii) the increasing vulnerability to natural disasters and the increasing impact of climate change, as well as economic and other shocks, should be included in the assessment of poverty lines.