Asia richer, but still leads world in poverty

Asia has slashed the number of people living in extreme poverty, a UN report said.

New York: Asia has slashed the number of people living in extreme poverty but is still struggling to meet ambitious development goals set at the United Nations, a UN report said on Tuesday.

"One of the region`s greatest MDG successes has been a
reduction in the number of people living on less than USD 1.25
a day from 1.5 billion to 947 million between 1990 and
2005," the UN report on Asia`s progress in the Millennium
Development Goals said.

"However, the region remains home to two-thirds of the
world`s poor and hungry, with one in six malnourished, and it
has been slow to reduce child mortality and to improve
maternal health."

The report was issued at a summit at UN headquarters in
New York held five years before the MDG deadline of 2015.

Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of the UN`s Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, said the
region "had indeed made impressive progress".

"The region is on track to meeting the target of halving
the number of people living in poverty," she said.

But the failure to reduce hunger, child mortality and
poverty among women created "a mixed and worrying picture".

Asia-Pacific faces a "race against time," she said.

Eight Millennium Development Goals were launched at a UN
summit in 2000, including halving the number of people in
extreme poverty, cutting by two thirds the number of children
dying before five years of age, and spreading the
availability of Internet facilities.

More than 140 heads of state or government were attending
the three-day summit.

Bureau Report