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Poverty refers to the condition of not being able to afford basic human necessities such as food, water, housing, and health care. Finding ways to reduce the poverty that afflicts more than half the world’s people is a core part of CGD’s mission and is reflected in the many research topics that directly address the issue, such as health, education, trade, debt relief, aid effectiveness, and migration.

However, understanding the causes of and cures for poverty alone is not enough. It would only be a partial victory if poor countries succeeded in improving their living standards, only to fall farther behind the world’s wealthiest nations. The Center is therefore also committed to reducing inequality, the enormous and growing gaps between the richest and poorest countries, as well as rising inequality within countries.