The world was on a significant trajectory to eradicating extreme poverty (those living on less than $2/day). As you can see in the graph below, the world went from 1.9 billion people in extreme poverty in 1990 to 650 million people in extreme poverty in 2018. That is huge and wonderful! As you can see in the graph, most of the poverty reduction took place in South Asia and East Asia & Pacific, and most of that poverty reduction came as a result of business development. Unfortunately, the number of people in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa actually slightly increased over the same period of time.
However, the pandemic significantly altered this trajectory and the progress in the global number of people in extreme poverty is expected to increase by 100 million. That is heartbreaking. The graph below shows what the line looked like for Pre-COVID predictions and then with the reality of COVID.