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Who Are the Ultra-Poor?


At BRAC, we recognise that ending extreme poverty must start with the poorest, referred to as the ultra-poor.  They are the lowest earning and most vulnerable subset of the extreme poor living on less than $1.90/day.

But extreme poverty is more than just the lack of income and consumption – it is the denial of basic freedoms and human dignity. The ultra-poor often suffer from interrelated, chronic deprivations, including hunger and malnutrition, poor health, limited education and marginalisation or exclusion. Women and girls in particular face distinct challenges. The ultra-poor often face discrimination, marginalization or exclusion, and typically lack the skills, tools and resources to cope with economic setbacks, natural disasters or illnesses.

Looking ahead, future projections suggest that the ultra-poor will be highly concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in fragile and conflict-affected states. Additionally, the effects of climate change will pull millions of households below the poverty line. These challenges will continue to shape the profile of the ultra-poor and global efforts towards ending extreme poverty.

Overcoming Poverty


Watch our video on two ultra poor women and their story of courage in overcoming poverty.

Featured Stories


(For a full selection of stories from Bangladesh and Kenya, please click here.)