The definition of what precisely we mean by poverty is controversial.
Yet empirical evidence establishes firmly that both the gap between
the richest and the poorest countries in the world has been widening
(as measured in terms of per capita GDP) since 1960, and that since
independence a number of the very poorest countries in the world
have experienced negative growth in per capita GDP. Regardless of
whether one is concerned with relative or absolute conceptions of
poverty, therefore, it is difficult to argue that poverty has not become
a problem of greater urgency.