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U.N. Urges More Efforts to Overcome Poverty


18 October 1998, Xinhau - The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said Friday that poverty reduction should be the focus of nations' whole development strategies.

In its report on Overcoming Human Poverty released Friday prior to the International Day for the Poverty Eradication to be observed on October 17, the UNDP said rich donor countries should live up to their commitments to poverty reduction.

The report said around one third of people in developing countries continue to live in "income poverty," earning less than one U.S. dollar per day.

They also suffer "human poverty," lacking essential education, health care and nutrition with about 30 percent of all children under five malnourished and 38 percent of all adult women illiterate.

Out of the 130 countries surveyed by the UNDP, only 38 have set targets for the eradication of extreme poverty despite the fact that 43 have national poverty plans in place and 35 more address poverty explicitly within their national planning framework.

The UNDP called for the mobilization of additional resources to support anti-poverty programs while pointing out that aid from developed nations has shrunk to an all-time low of 0.22 percent of their gross domestic product, from the U.N. target of 0.7 percent.

It said poverty reduction should also become the focus of gender policy, "especially since gender inequality is an important contributing factor to impoverishment, and women are over-represented among the poor and frequently suffer the most severe forms of poverty."

Sunday 18 Oct 1998
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