Absolute poverty is defined by the World Bank as living on the equivalent of US$1.90 a day or less. This money has to cover the basics of food, shelter and water. Medicines, new clothing, and school books would not be on the priority list.
When almost an entire population lives on this little, it is unsurprising if undernourishment is high, education levels are low, and life expectancy short. In four countries more than 70% of the population are living below the poverty line: Madagascar, Burundi, DR Congo and Malawi. Overall there has been improvement in the recent years, Nigeria and Mali could reduce their absolute poverty rate from 90% in 2002 to around 50% in 2016. The only non-African country among the poorest 15 in Haiti. The countries with the poorest population in absolute numbers are India, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Ethiopia and Bangladesh.