South Asia lags in poverty reduction targets: UN report
India is the only South Asian nation on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of slashing extreme poverty by half by the year 2015, a United Nations report said Thursday, DPA reported.
According to the Millennium Development Goals Report 2011, Southern Asia was lagging behind other Asian regions, with Eastern and South-Eastern Asia having achieved deep cuts in poverty, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) said.
For example, in India the poverty rate was projected to fall from 51 per cent in 1990 to 22 per cent in 2015, while South-Eastern Asia achieved a drop from 39 to 19 per cent in the 1990-2005 period.
Eastern Asia cut poverty from 60 to 16 per cent in the same period.
In China, the poverty rate was expected to fall below 5 per cent by 2015. The international poverty line as defined by the World Bank is the proportion of people living on less than 1.25 dollars a day.
Southern Asia also lagged behind other regions in Asia in nutrition, sanitation and gender equality, the report said.
Despite significant progress in improving maternal health, Southern Asia still had the second highest level of maternal mortality in the world after sub-Saharan Africa with 280 deaths per 10,000 live births.
Southern Asia also had the highest rate of child malnutrition with 43 per cent of all children under 5 years of age underweight in 2009, the report said.