This report, taking action for poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, commissioned in 1993 by the Bank's Africa region differs from others in that it focuses on the Bank's operational program to reduce poverty. It analyses the connections between its poverty assessments, country assistance strategies and the content of the lending program. It also examines actions that the Bank, in partnership with governments and donors can take to reduce poverty. The report reflects numerous discussions with the Bank's development partners - Africans, the donor community, and nongovernmental organizations. On average, 45 to 50 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans live below the poverty line - a much higher proportion than in any region of the world except South Asia. In 1993, an estimated 40 percent lived on less than a dollar (US) a day. The study reviewed the Bank's lending program for the fiscal years 1992-97 to determine if it reflected statements that poverty reduction is the Bank's overarching objective. Projects were classified into three categories according to their objectives: enabling growth, broadly-based services and narrowly-targeted services for the poor. This made it possible to examine the effectiveness of poverty assessments, other economic analyses, country assistance strategies and business plans as the basis for designing the Bank's lending programs; assess whether the emphasis of the Bank's lending program for poverty reduction needs to be modified; and identify the actions most likely to reduce poverty.