Poverty is defined as either relative or absolute poverty. Economists do their best to make sure that people think life is getting better for the poor because that justifies the current economic model. However, the reality is that it would probably take 200 years for the poor to get out of poverty at the way things are structured. The measure of inequality between incomes levels is called the gini coefficient. Typically in countries with large divides between the rich and the poor (Paraguay, Honduras, Panama, South Africa, Zambia, Mexico, Mozambique), there is a greater risk for violence.
Usually extreme poverty line is undermined to be around $1.90/day and moderate poverty around $3.10/day. When these numbers are quite unreasonable. These are measured by the World Bank. More reasonable levels are $7.40/day overseas and $15/day in the U.S. Keep in mind that many countries' incomes have declined due to neo-colonialistic economic modeling of this thing called structural adjustment which was a policy that brought "developing" country economies to allow for the US essentially through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to determine what would be a "successful" economy. Also keep in mind that the policies they promoted were not the same ones the rich countries used to get rich. Oxford economist Ha-Joon Chang speaks about this in Kicking Away the Ladder and his other books. Jason Hickel's the Divide and his blog has many articles on this. Most of the world is trying to hide that poverty is indeed getting worse. Below is an excerpt from Hickel - on his website.
"Since 1981 poor people’s daily incomes have increased by only about 2 cents per year, on average.
At this rate it will take around 200 years to end global poverty at $7.40 per day, and 500 years to end poverty at the US poverty line of $15 per day."
As for what governments should offer those below the line? It really gets to the question of restructuring the economy and limiting what the 1% - the most rich - is allowed to take from the environment and the economy in highly unsustainable ways. Programs are nice but are not the answer.