Poverty is not simply a lack of income. It manifests in hunger, malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and barriers to civic participation.

In order to achieve Goal 1, we must leave no one behind and reach those furthest behind first. We must strengthen social services, employment strategies and risk mitigation, and focus on inclusive economic growth to provide sustainable, equitable jobs to all. Social protection systems need to help alleviate the suffering of disaster-prone countries and provide support to vulnerable population groups. These systems will help to build resilience in groups afflicted with poverty against economic losses during disasters and will help to end extreme poverty in the most impoverished areas.

Although over one billion people have escaped poverty since 2000, we need to increase universal efforts to boost income, alleviate suffering and strengthen the resilience of those still impoverished.

Poverty Rates & Poverty Line Benchmarks

Three-quarters of a billion people remain in extreme poverty, living below the international poverty line of $1.90USD per day. Millions more are strafing the line, making just above this amount. While the global poverty rate dipped from 28 per cent in 1999 to 11 per cent in 2013 – with significant progress made in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia – 42 per cent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa remains living in extreme poverty. This economic group struggles to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation.

By 2016, just under 10 per cent of the world’s workers were living with their families below the international poverty line, down from 28 per cent in 2000. However, nearly 38 per cent of workers in the least developed countries were living at this level.

Social Protection Systems

Social protection systems, such as labour market interventions, social insurance and social assistance, are fundamental to preventing and reducing poverty and inequality at every stage of people’s lives; children, mothers with newborns, persons with disabilities, older persons and persons who are poor or unemployed all need support in order to rise above poverty and thrive.

In 2016, only 45 per cent of the world’s population was effectively protected by a social protection system, and 68 per cent of people above retirement age (65 years of age) received a pension. In both cases, these global averages mask large regional differences; regions of extreme poverty consistently see low numbers of retirement-aged people receiving pensions. In Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand, and in sub-Saharan Africa, only 10 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, of people above retirement age received a pension in 2016.

Vulnerable Population Groups

Other vulnerable groups include people with severe disabilities, people who are unemployed, women with newborns and people living in disaster-prone regions. In 2016, only 28 per cent of people with severe disabilities collected disability benefits, 22 per cent of unemployed individuals received unemployment benefits and only 41 per cent of women giving birth received maternity benefits. Economic losses from disasters are now reaching up to $300 billion a year, and disaster risk is highly concentrated in low- and lower-middle-income countries. In relation to the size of their economies, small island developing States have borne a disproportionate impact.


Let's End Poverty Forever

We’ve come a long way in reducing world poverty over the past 15 years–but there’s more to be done. How can the Sustainable Development Goals help us finish the job? Nik Sekhran, Director for Sustainable Development in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at the UN Development Programme, provides the answer.

Blockchain For The Global Goals

To end poverty once and for all. Everywhere. It is our goal to become the first generation to end extreme poverty. By providing dignity and opportunity for all people, we can lift everyone up so they can reach their full potential. But we need everyone in the global society to work together to achieve this.

The UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index

Achim Steiner explains the Multidimensional Poverty Index. As the name suggests, it takes multiple dimensions to capture the factors involved in poverty, including inequality, which is at the core of many challenges we face as a society. This index is designed to inform policy makers, governments and other leaders about how to address the issue of poverty.


The private sector has an imperative to respect human rights, including the rights of marginalized groups. Developing inclusive business models, innovative products and including members of these groups at all levels of the value chain not only helps end poverty, but also drives business growth.

Businesses can help break down barriers that lead to food/nutrition insecurity, lack of access to health care, education and sanitation, and low empowerment and personal security. Recognize that these interrelated dimensions all contribute to poverty, and that income alone does not determine a person or community’s welfare. You can also engage in essential policy dialogue to ensure employees across your value chain are secure in these dimensions.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

Many companies already act and report on climate change, water management and labor conditions. This guide can help companies take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs (read more).

KPMG: How to Report on the SDGs & Global Goals

4 in 10 of the world’s largest companies already reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting, suggesting that business interest in the SDGs has grown quickly since their launch in September 2015 (read more).

Project Breakthrough: Growing The Businesses of Tomorrow

If we are going to achieve a sustainable future, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of business will be critical. In fact, if viewed in the right way, achieving the SDGs presents huge market opportunities for businesses (read more).


1) Media Package

  1. Program Photographs & Illustrations (Max. 10 Images)
  2. Detailed Project Description (Max. 500 Words)
  3. Optional: URL/Link to Supporting Video

2) Financial & Strategic

In order to determine financial performance & potential for scalability, please answer the following questions:

  1. Please describe how the SDG business initiative is linked to your company’s core competency/competencies.
  2. Please provide an overview of the business case associated with your SDG business initiative.
  3. Please provide evidence of planned program expansion over the coming quarters and/or fiscal years.

3) Magnetism & Inspiration

How has your business initiative been a source of magnetism and inspiration? Please provide examples of your company’s  influence on each of the following:

  1. Industry Impact
  2. Corporate Culture
  3. Key Stakeholder Groups

SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards

4) SDG Impact Metrics

What progress has your organization made towards achieving SDG #1? Please select and provide one (or more) supporting metrics to help evaluate your social impacts (see below for a list of possible options to select from).

Please describe how has your company has:

  • Increased the number of people living above international and/or national poverty lines (i.e. -% of target population and total #)(please provide details about the target population).
  • Increased the number of people registering increased productivity or revenues in your supply chain (i.e. -smallholder farmers realizing improved crop yields and increased income, micro-entrepreneurs realizing better revenues through access to finance, technology or training, etc.)
  • Increased average annual income of your target population. Please compare earnings with both minimum wages (if applicable) and local living wages (please provide details about the target population).
  • Other KPI (please insert and describe).


OPTIONAL: Please provide a description/overview of 3rd party assurances relating to the verification of the metrics and figures provided above.


SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #2 - Zero Hunger - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #3 - Good Health & Well-Being - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #4 - Quality Education - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #6 - Clean Water & Sanitation - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #13 - Climate Action - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #14 - Life Below Water - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #15 - Life On Land - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #17 - Partnerships For The Goals - The Global SDG Awards