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Halving Global Poverty Remains Elusive

Although the world has made headway in alleviating global poverty, about one in five of the world’s poor live on less than $1.25 per day, according to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals report 2014.

The United Nations stated that even though the goal of halving global poverty before 2015 has been achieved, progress on poverty alleviation is lopsided across regions. “Some regions, such as Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia, have met the target of halving the extreme poverty rate, whereas other regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, still lag behind.”

In South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, 30 and 48 percent, respectively, of people live on less than $1.25 a day, respectively, compared to 51 and 56 percent in 1990. But while South Asia has made significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs,) it will require more effort to achieve targets to help the world’s poor by the end of 2015.

Lise Grande, U.N. Development Program representative in India and United Nations resident coordinator, emphasized that the MDGs cannot be reached if poverty is not alleviated in India. “The new post-2015 framework cannot succeed if it does not reflect the aspirations, and does not have the commitment and support of India,” she said. One third of the world’s poor live in India alone. The people of India hope that their new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will rejuvenate the slow economy and alleviate poverty for millions.

Despite China making significant progress in decreasing the poverty rate (12 percent compared to 60 percent two decades ago,) China ranks second behind India in the largest share of the world’s poor. Besides these large populous countries which have high numbers of extreme poor, extraordinary poverty rates are found in areas that are fragile and tense, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5 percent,) Bangladesh (5 percent) and Nigeria (9 percent).

Many MDG goals focusing on achieving gender equality in schools, increasing access to better water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and reducing poverty have already been met, according to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2014. But there is still a ways to go.

– Colleen Moore

Sources: moneycontrol.com, Daily Times
Photo: DW