United Nations: The UN Friday marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for more efforts to eliminate poverty in all its forms as 2.4 billion people still live on less than $2 a day.
"Entrenched poverty and prejudice, and vast gulfs between wealth and destitution can undermine the fabric of societies and lead to instability," Xinhua quoted Ban as saying in his message for the International Day, which is commemorated annually Oct 17.
"Where poverty holds sway, people are held back. Lives disfigured by poverty are cruel, mean and, often, short," he said.
At least 700 million people had been lifted out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2010, but the damaging impact of entrenched poverty remained out there with an estimated 2.4 billion people surviving on less than $2 a day, Ban added.
Moreover, he noted that women and girls were still largely excluded from opportunities of self-development and fulfillment.
"Since the beginning of the financial crisis, inequality has grown even more pronounced than it was already," Ban elaborated.