close up of woman letting corn spill through her hands.
Photo By:  Corinna Robbins is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

International Development 101

Development Works

– 24.3%

In 1990, about 35% of the global population lived in poverty; by 2013 that number was cut by more than half and had decreased to 10.7%. From 1990 to 2017, 1.1 billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty.


From 1990 to 2016, there was a 50% drop in the proportion of undernourished people in developing countries, from 23.3% to 12.9%.

5.2 billion

In 2015, 5.2 billion people used safe drinking-water services. Some 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 1990.

A smiling young girl, lifts her scarf overhead on a clear, sunny day. In the background, a young bow stands underneath a tree covered in debris.
Photo By: Arez Ghaderi is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license

International development programs bring knowledge and resources to help communities and governments around the world as they work to end extreme poverty; support the advancement of human rights; and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing global security and prosperity.

Making Progress


Polio cases have decreased worldwide by over 99% since 1988, with only 22 reported cases in 2017. PEPFAR is saving 14 million people with antiretroviral treatment (ART) as of March 2018, and nearly 2.2 million babies that would otherwise have been infected were born HIV-free.


Enrollment in primary education in developing regions reached 91% in 2015, up from 83% in 2000.


Almost 40% of the world’s population lived in a free country in 2017. This, however, leaves approximately 60% of the global population living in countries that are partly or not free.

three boys play ina field in the early morning as the sun rises
Photo By: Khant Zaw

To address current and upcoming challenges, the international community of partners in development must support growth of much needed technologies, knowledge, and policies in places where they’re needed most.