UN Lauds India as Major Contributor towards Global Poverty Reduction

India has significantly contributed towards the reduction of global poverty, reports the UN annual report on millennium development goals (MDGs). As per the 2010 report, India is likely to reduce its poverty levels to 20 percent in 2015 from 51 percent on 1990, thereby reducing its count of extremely poor people by 188 million. The country has also contributed to a large extent for reduction of poverty across the world, the UN report observed.

However, the rest of the sub-Sahara African as well as the other countries of South Asia, are considerably falling behind India to meet the target for reducing poverty levels by 50 percent by 2015. The overall rate of poverty is likely to come down to 15 percent by 2015, which would translate to around 920 million people under the international poverty line. This is half the number when compared to 1990. The poverty rates of China are also likely to fall by 5 percent.

The report highlighted that financial crisis engineered by the developed countries, has cast a negative impact on growth of developing countries and would leave an added 64 million people in abject poverty by 2010-end.

The report discloses that in India and China combined, the number of extremely poor people, between 1990 and 2005, has declined by over 450 million. Besides, an additional 320 million persons are likely to join the ranks by 2015. The UN report studies where the world is expected to stand in terms of realizing the eight economical and social goals by 2015. The goals include achieving universal primary, eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, improving maternal health, ensuring environmental sustainability and combating HIV/AIDS.

On the environmental sustainability front, the report found out that countries across the world have already faltered the 2010 deadline as regards biodiversity conservation with grave potential consequences. The number of species facing extinction threats is growing with each passing day, especially in developing countries.

It is apparent from the report that improvements on the life of the poor have been undeniably slow and some very hard-won gains are under erosion by the global economic and crises and the climate change. While Africa and South America continue to sport the largest net losses as regards forests, the report has disclosed that Asia has recorded a net gain of over two million hectares annually during the last decade, mostly because of the large scale afforestation

While South America and Africa continue to show the largest net losses of forests, the report said that Asia had registered a net gain of some 2.2 million hectares annually in the last decade, mainly because of large-scale afforestation programmes of India, Vietnam and China. “These three countries have expanded their forest area by a total of nearly 4 million hectares annually in the last five years,” the UN report said.

The UN’s acknowledgement of India as a major poverty eradication contributor is sure to silence critics who only prefer to see the darker side of the country.

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