DISTRIBUTION OF POVERTY
Poverty has been viewed as a measure of social class and sex inequality in industrial societies, with women and lower-class households experiencing the greater level of poverty. Similarly, poverty has been regarded as an indicator of inequitable economic dealings between the developed and the developing nations, with the poverty of the developing world being linked to the accumulation of wealth in the developed world—the so-called north-south divide. The poorest nations in the world are in: South Asia (Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan); sub-Saharan and North Africa; the Middle East; Latin America and the Caribbean; and East Asia (China).
The United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 looked at issues of poverty distribution worldwide and set targets for 2015 that included reducing by half the number of people living on less than US$1 a day, providing safe drinking water for 50 per cent of people deprived of such access, primary education for all children, and reversing the spread of diseases such as malaria and AIDS. For 2020 a significant improvement in the circumstances of slum inhabitants and a greater access to modern technologies for poorer nations was also envisaged.