Poverty declines in India by 27.5 pc: UN report

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New Delhi, Sep 12: In the purview of health and primary education, India has achieved a decline of 27.5 per cent in poverty and is all set to reach the set target by 2015, says UN report. The UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2008 was released ahead of a summit meeting on the MDGs, scheduled for Thursday, Sep 25 on the margins of the UN General Assembly session by UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday, Sep 11.

"India needs strong institutions and good governance to achieve the various millennium development goals (MDGs) laid down by the United Nations (UN)", Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said at a function to launch the MDG report 2008.

"To achieve MDGs, we need strong institutions and good governance. It is essential that the success and shortcomings of achieving the MDGs almost midway to the period should be reviewed to ascertain the progress made in realising these goals," Chatterjee said.

However, there were no significant improvement in the secondary education sector.

"There was a 27.5 per cent reduction in poverty in India. The target of 19 per cent reduction by 2015 is well likely to be achieved," Maxine Olson, UN representative in India, said.

A lacuna is still persisting with the reduction rate of maternal and infant mortality.

Similar was the case with controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS as well as providing clean drinking water and sanitation facilities to its population, the report said.

The target appears unlikely to be met unless there is targeted intervention and improvement in the institutional delivery mechanism, P N Kulkarni, one of the researchers who compiled the report told.

The annual report, a yardstick for measuring the achievement of the MDGs, predicted that higher food prices may push 100 million people deeper into poverty.

According to the report, there has been a strong and sustained progress in reducing extreme poverty. But, improved estimates of poverty from the World Bank show that the number of poor in the developing world is larger than previously thought, at 1.4 billion people.

But the new estimates confirm that between 1990 and 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell by over 400 million, and that the 1990 global poverty rate is likely to fall by the targeted 50 per cent by 2015.

While most of the decline occurred in East Asia, particularly China, other regions had much smaller decreases in the poverty rate and only modest falls in the number of poor. Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Republics actually saw the number of poor increase between 1990 and 2005.

Among the MDGs, gains noted in the report were that primary school enrolment has a 90 per cent increase and is in striking distance of the 2015 goal of 100 per cent in all but two out of 10 regions of the world.

Within primary schools, gender parity is at 95 per cent in six out of 10 regions. Experts said that India is not on track on achieving this target.

Deaths from measles have been cut in one third between 2000 and 2006, and the vaccination rate among developing world children has reached 80 per cent.

More than one and a half billion people have gained access to clean drinking water since 1990 but due to stress on fresh water resources nearly three billion people now live in regions facing water scarcity.

With help from the private sector, mobile phone technology and access to essential medicines are spreading in the poorest countries.

The targets which are not on track to achieved, however, are complications relating to child birth and pregnancy which the Government have not been able to reduce.

About one quarter of developing world's children are undernourished and half of the developing world population still lack improved sanitation facilities. More than one-third of the growing urban population are living in slums.


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