WB pats India for poverty reduction

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) A new World Bank-IMF Report today complimented India for achieving significant levels of poverty reduction as a result of high GDP growth of about nine per cent, but regretted serious shortfalls in achieving other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) like child nutrition and health.

''India is ahead of other South Asian nations in achieving reduction in poverty levels. This is a result of high growth.

Pakistan has not done as well on poverty reduction as growth performance has been less constitent,'' Mr Zia Qureshi, lead author of the World Bank's 'Global Monitoring Report 2008' said in a video- conference here.

The Video conference with experts in Washinton--the headquarters of the World Bank--was with journalists from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as part of the Global launch of the Report.

Mr Qureshi was joined by Mr Kirk Hamilton, lead environmental economist of the Bank. Entitled 'Global Monitoring Report 2008,' the Report has its theme 'MDGs and the Environment-- Agenda for inclusive and sustainable development.' ''India has posted for past several years stellar economic performance, but has not done well on Human Development Index. Child malnutrition rate in India is double that of Africa, which itself is very high,'' Mr Qureshi said.

The Report warns that most countries in South Asia, including India, will fall short of the MDGs, a set of eight globally agreed development goals with a due date of 2015.

The prospects are gravest for the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, with serious shortfalls also likely in primary school completion, nutrition and sanitation goals, the Report says.

Mr Qureshi said India along with China continues to lead regional growth in Asia. As a consequence what they do on the front of MDGs will impact on the levels to which the MDGs are achieved globally.

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