2/3rd of developing countries close to tackling poverty:Report

2/3rd of developing countries close to tackling poverty:Report

With improved policies and faster growth, these countries can still achieve the targets in 2015 or soon after, the IMF and World Bank said yesterday in its report titled "Global Monitoring Report 2011: Improving the Odds of Achieving the MDGs".

Noting that the fight against poverty is progressing well, the report said, based on current economic projections, the world remains on track to reduce by half the number of people living in extreme poverty.

"The number of people living on less than USD 1.25 a day is projected to be 883 million in 2015, compared with 1.4 billion in 2005 and 1.8 billion in 1990.

"Much of this progress reflects rapid growth in China and India, while many African countries are lagging behind: 17 countries are far from halving extreme poverty, even as the aggregate goals will be reached," it said.

According to the report, developing countries will also likely achieve the MDGs for gender parity in primary and secondary education and for access to safe drinking water, and will be very close on hunger and on primary education completion.

"But progress is slow and targets may be missed on others. Among developing countries, 45 per cent are far from meeting the target on access to sanitation; 39 per cent and 38 per cent are far from the maternal and child mortality targets, respectively," it said.

"Reaching the MDGs is a significant achievement for developing countries. But there still is much to do in reducing poverty and improving health outcomes even in the successful countries," said Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the World Bank.

Hugh Bredenkamp, deputy director of the IMF's Strategy, Policy, and Review Department said the challenge in low income countries is to sustain and accelerate growth through better policies that will create jobs and greater opportunities for the private sector.

"Advanced economies need to do their part to secure the global recovery, by repairing and reforming their financial systems and tackling their fiscal imbalances," he said.

The report said growing assistance from emerging donors, many in the developing world, is welcome but will not compensate fully for a significant fall in aid from traditional donors, especially if they pursue different development priorities and practices.

This changing aid landscape could also have implications for the transparency of official flows and the policies and programs that aid supports. In the wake of the recent global financial crisis, trade has started to recover, but sustaining it will require steps to strengthen the international system, guard against protectionist tendencies, and push for a conclusion of the Doha Round of international trade negotiations.

In addition, the report calls for measures to support access to trade finance and trade facilitation to connect vulnerable low income countries, landlocked economies and lagging regions to regional and international markets, it said.