Goal 1 calls for an end to poverty in all its forms, everywhere, by the year 2030. The goal aims to ensure social protection for the poor and vulnerable, to increase access to basic services, and to support people harmed by climate-related extreme events and other economic, social, and environmental shocks and disasters.

BY 2030
  • Eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.
  • Reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
  • Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
  • Ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.
  • Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations, and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.


people living in multidimensional poverty


a day marks the extreme poverty line


of the extreme poor living in rural areas

Extreme poverty has been decreasing over the last two decades. The establishment of the Millenium Development Goals in 2000 contributed to this decrease. However, since the commencement of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 the decline in extreme poverty has continued but has slowed.
The deceleration indicates that the world is currently not on track to achieve the target of ending poverty by the year 2030. Extreme poverty involves an interplay of social, political and economic factors and is increasingly exacerbated by violent conflicts, climate change, food insecurity and disasters. Access to adequate education, healthcare, electricity, safe drinking water and other critical services remains elusive for many people - often this is determined by socioeconomic status, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location.

42% decrease of people living in multidimensional poverty since 2000.

The 2017 review found that the preconditions that need to be met for any country to be successful in reducing poverty were to reduce conflict, work to mitigate climate risks, eliminate discriminatory laws and policies, and empower women and girls. These conditions will make any further efforts to reduce poverty far more effective.

In 2017, UN SDG1, End Poverty was reviewed at the High-Level Political Forum. It was reported that while progress towards the goal had been made, reduction had been deeply uneven between countries and regions. It was noted that extreme poverty was predominately rural, with

Children were also reported to be more likely to be living in poverty than adults, with around half of those living in extreme poverty being under the age of 18 years.

Poverty remains an issue of global importance. Seventy-six million children are living in poverty in the world’s richest countries. Projections suggest that if the current trend of decrease continues, 6 per cent of the world’s population will still be living in extreme poverty by the year 2030.
Between 2015 and 2019, the number of people living in extreme poverty has continued to drop. The most significant gains were in eastern and southern Asia. However the number of people living in poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is still higher than the number of people living in poverty in the rest of the world combined, at 413 million of the 736 million, and with one third of employed workers living on less than $1.90 a day.

Eighty-five percent of territories report partnering with other organisations to help in the eradication of poverty. These partnerships include other churches, NGOs, government departments and local authorities, banks, supermarkets, local businesses, hospitals, universities, UN agencies, schools, and social service departments.

Eighty-five percent of territories also reported plans for future initiatives to help in the eradication of poverty. Plans include the development of shelters, feeding programmes, nurseries, skills training, sustainable development training, online banking and marketing training, providing counselling services, and advocacy and education around the issues of poverty.

Almost half of all Salvation Army territories (42%) have within the last five years undertaken new strategies or implemented programmes relating to the eradication of poverty. Initiatives include the opening of shelters, foodbanks, microfinance and employment assistance programmes, skills development   training, farming training, low-interest loan programmes, providing emergency housing, street clinics and hospitals, language classes, food distribution, social skills training, and the establishment of community gardens.

of Salvation Army territories are in a country, or have a country within their territory, that has a national policy on poverty.


Between 2016 and 2020 a total of 1.3 million people were reported to have been helped annually through these programmes globally.


Some territories also plan to:


  • APPOINT social justice and community development specialists 
  • DEVELOP strategic plans regarding poverty alleviation 
  • PARTNER with foodbanks and other organisations in local areas 
  • STRENGTHEN relationships with relevant government departments 
  • INCREASE basic social services that address the most pressing needs of communities, and 
  • ACTIVATE experts in poverty alleviation to mobilise resources appropriately.


The Centre for Coexistence and Psychosocial Care in Roraima, Brazil, which opened on 18 January 2019, is an initiative linked to The Salvation Army Bridges Project in tate capital Boa Vista. It is being run in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), with funding provided by the European Union (EU). Services are provided for those who have suffered gender-based violence, with a particular focus on women, young people, disabled people and members of the LGBTI community.

The Centre’s service provision is part of the multi-agency response to the large-scale migration of Venezuelan nationals into the area since July 2018. Among the services that will now be available are social and psychological assistance, legal counseling, therapeutic and life skills workshops, and socio-educational activities. These services to the community will be carried out by professionals with specific training in each area, Monday to Friday.

Centre staff can also help with registration processes, sheltering of the most vulnerable groups, providing access to information, and taking any other necessary action to support and care for children and victims of gender violence.

The partnership between UN agencies, civil society, local governments and the EU aims not only to extend the protection of refugees and migrants, but also to ensure peaceful integration and coexistence with the local population. Services can be accessed by all, regardless of nationality, age, gender or sexuality.


Såpa, a car wash in Tønsberg, southern Norway, is a response to the ongoing challenge of how to integrate people back into society after spending time in prison or rehabilitation or following other periods of social exclusion. It provides training and employment for a number of staff who have experienced difficulties in their lives.

The name ‘Såpa’ – which translates as ‘the soap’ – is redolent of The Salvation Army’s motto in Norway: ‘soup, soap and salvation’. True to this holistic approach, Såpa seeks to provide an opportunity for people to engage in meaningful work, regardless of their past situation or their current mental or physical health.

The Salvation Army in Norway is constantly looking for new ways of developing its work training programmes. Job training is a big part of The Salvation Army’s remedy for tackling social exclusion and poverty in Norway.

In Tønsberg, The Salvation Army is synonymous with innovation. The Salvation Army presence in the city goes beyond the local corps and thrift shop, and now includes a café, concert venue, bike workshop, textile production and print house, as well as the new car wash. Every month the corps moves its Sunday service into the concert venue, which has significantly increased participation from the local community compared with when the nearby church hall was used.

New Zealand

On 8 November 2019, The Salvation Army opened a $28 million NZD housing block, Te Hononga Tangata, in Royal Oak, Auckland, New Zealand. The 50-unit  housing complex will house a total of 59 tenants, some of whom have been on the Public Housing Register for up to five years. For many this will be the only home they can afford to rent in Auckland. Tenants can stay for as long as they need and, pay 25 percent of their weekly income as rent. 

Te Hononga Tāngata is designed to give people the security of a home, while also growing a community. The complex includes a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, green spaces and a community garden. A hall, including an office for a tenancy manager and chaplain, are also part of the complex. The Salvation Army will continue to offer a range of wraparound services for the tenants. There were more than 700 referrals for the unit – an indication of the huge demand for social housing in Auckland and throughout New Zealand. The Salvation Army is currently building two other similar complexes.

COVID-19 Response

The UN World Institute for Development Economics Research warns that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8 per cent of the total human population. This would be the first time that poverty has increased globally in thirty years, since 1990.

According to UNDP, income losses are expected to exceed $220 billion in developing countries, and an estimated 55 per cent of the global population have no access to social protection.

As well as health care, The Salvation Army has been offering a broad range of other services subject to local needs and circumstances during the pandemic all over the world. In the United Kingdom, at a time when unemployment is increasing at its most rapid rate since records began, The Salvation Army’s Employment Plus service continues to offer telephone and online support to those looking for alternative work or training opportunities. The Salvation Army’s Debt Advice Service is helping thousands of people work out how to pay their next bill during the pandemic.

Our Commitment

“These last few months, full of the ravages of COVID-19, have exposed the deep inequalities and injustices in our world. This, together with the setbacks to achieving the SDG targets, must strengthen our resolve to pray and work and fight to see His righteous Kingdom in the midst of our communities. We can no longer be satisfied with turning a blind eye to unacceptable practices and mindsets. The next five years will be crucial in praying for a fervour that is matched with humility and applied expertise, facilitating the work of God’s Army to see people living life in all its fullness.” 


Major Heather Poxon, International Development Officer