Wednesday, September 07, 2005

[MDGs] UN warning on world poverty
Wed, 7 Sep 2005

World leaders must take drastic action if they plan to keep promises to end world poverty, a damning United Nations report has warned.

The 2005 Human Development Report said time was running out for the world's poorest nations. Eighteen countries, with a combined population of 460 million people, have moved backwards in the last 15 years.
The stark assessment comes just a week before the UN world summit in New York, the largest meeting of world leaders in history.

The report calls for urgent reform in global aid, trade and security policies, if the Millennium Development Goals, set five years ago, are to be met.The eight targets range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/Aids by 2015.Kemal Dervis, UN Development Programme Administrator, warned that the time to act was now."The world has the knowledge, resources and technology to end extreme poverty, but time is running out," he said.

While the report concludes that living standards are improving, it makes for dismal reading.Niger in West Africa is last on the list of 177 countries ranked by living standards. Twelve African countries are in the bottom 18, a figure linked to the HIV/Aids pandemic.

On current trends, by 2015, there would be 827 million people living in extreme poverty and another 1.7 billion people living on £1.08 a day.

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