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Poverty is declining, says World Bank

The latest World Development Indicators released by the World Bank, show that the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen by 18.4 per cent between 2000 and 2004. The Bank attributes this decline to increased annual growth in GDP across the developing world. The number of people in the world living on less than $1 per day is also declining, falling by over 260 million between 1990 and 2004 - though this is attributed to China's massive poverty reduction.

However, critics have noted that high economic growth rates have not reduced poverty meaningfully for many people. In Africa, the number of poor people between 1994 and 2004 remained at 298 million, despite impressive growth rates. The WDI report provides statistics on indicators such as health, transport, access to water resources and communication facilities. It is released amidst criticism of the G8 industrialised nations for failing to meet aid pledges, so far reaching only 10 per cent of the US$50 billion agreed for Africa in 2005.

Date published: May 2007

 

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