Lack of decent jobs behind Asia's poverty: Report
Manila: Policymakers in developing Asia need to provide decent jobs, liveable cities and disaster prevention programmes if they want to end poverty by 2030, according to a new report.
The report, issued Friday by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the UN Development Programme, said although most Asia-Pacific economies succeeded in reducing poverty levels, about 1.64 billion people still live on less than two dollars a day, Xinhua reported.
There is also the problem of rising inequality, indicating that the benefits of recent economic gains were not distributed evenly. Lack of decent and productive jobs kept most people in the region poor, the report said.
"Economic growth is not generating sufficient, decent and productive employment. This is due to the nature of growth and the pattern of structural change in many countries in which workers move from agriculture into low-productivity services," the report added.
The Asia-Pacific region also remains offtrack in meeting its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, health, and sanitation.
The report said the region remains home to two-thirds of the world's poor and more than 60 percent of its hungry people.
The report proposes 12 specific goals that policymakers in the region could implement in order to end poverty and raise the quality of life by 2030.
"The MDGs have been a powerful tool for rallying global support around common objectives including poverty reduction," said Kazu Sakai, director general of ADB's strategy and policy department.
"The report proposes the inclusion of new goals on zero income poverty and zero hunger and malnutrition by as early as 2030 as part of a broad post-2015 agenda," Sakai said.
Apart from aiming to eliminate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, the report said a potential set of future goals should include gender equality, decent jobs for everyone of working age, health and quality education for all, improved living conditions with a focus on the poor, liveable cities, environmental responsibility and management of natural resources, disaster risk reduction, accountable and responsive governments and strong development partnerships.
The region must also address new emerging challenges like rising inequalities, unplanned urbanisation, climate change, pollution and water scarcity, the report added.