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India, China played central role in poverty reduction: report

Jul 07, 2015

Despite significant gains accomplished by the MDGs, progress has been uneven across the globe, the final MDG report reveals.

New Delhi: According to the final report on the Millennium Development Goals, Southern Asia has made remarkable progress in moving towards the achievement of the MDGs in some areas.

The report states that the world’s most populous countries, China and India, have played a central role in the global reduction of poverty. But increased efforts are needed in many other areas, the report cautions.

Leaders from all over the world have called for an ambitious sustainability agenda to succeed the MDGs. Building on the success and momentum of the MDGs, new global goals will break fresh ground on the existing inequalities.

Hailing the role of MDGs, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the global mobilisation behind the MDGs has produced the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.

“The emerging post-2015 development agenda, including the set of Sustainable Development Goals, strives to build on our successes and put all countries, together, firmly on track towards a more prosperous, sustainable and equitable world”, the UN chief said.

Despite enormous progress driven by the MDGs, the study reveals that about 800 million people live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger. “Children from the poorest 20 per cent of households are more than twice as likely to be stunted as those from the wealthiest 20 per cent and are also four times as likely to be out of school,” the study discovered.

By 2011, Asia had met the target of halving the proportion of people who live in extreme poverty. Southern Asia’s progress is almost as impressive—a decline from 52 per cent to 17 per cent for the same period—and its rate of reduction has accelerated since 2008.

As a result of progress in China, the extreme poverty rate in Eastern Asia has dipped from 61 per cent in 1990 to only 4 per cent in 2015. Similarly, South-Eastern Asia has reduced the extreme poverty rate by 84 per cent.

The report highlighted that despite the significant gains made for many of the MDG targets globally, progress has been uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps.

The report underlines that conflicts remained the biggest threat to human development, with fragile and conflict-affected countries typically experiencing the highest poverty rates.

According to the report, gender inequality persists in spite of more representation of women in parliament and more girls going to school. “Women continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making,” the report said.

The report found that the 15-year effort to achieve the eight aspirational goals set out in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 was largely successful across the globe.

The data and analysis presented in the report elucidates that with targeted interventions, sound strategies and political will, even the poorest of the poor can move forward.

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