The 10-year anniversary of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami will find the world in a sobering situation. Conflicts in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere continue without apparent end, while the World Health Organization calls the Ebola outbreak in three West African countries "the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times."
A new benchmark called the Empowerment Line, developed by the McKinsey Global Institute, aims to create a new and more holistic policy framework for poverty reduction. It calculates the cost for an Indian household to attain the basics and then compares these benchmarks to actual consumption data to measure needs that are going unmet. The results debunk a number of misconceptions about the nature of poverty in India.