In 2012 Andy Sumner argued that “half of the world’s poor live in India and China (mainly in India), a quarter of the world’s poor live in other MICs (primarily populous lower-income MICs such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia) and a quarter of the world’s poor live in the remaining 35 low-income countries. Underlying this pattern is a slightly more surprising one: only 7 percent of world poverty remains in low-income, stable countries” (Sumner, 2012, Where do the World’s Poor Live? A New Update, IDS Working Paper, Vol 2012, No 393). This raises the question of who is responsible for addressing poverty and reducing inequality in middle-income countries where the majority of the world’s poor are found.
In this Amphitheatre Session, we will debate whether the global development community should focus on eradicating extreme poverty in middle income countries when many of these countries have the resources to do so themselves.