Growth in India, China helped in poverty eradication: WB, IMF

WASHINGTON, april 16 (PTI): Rapid growth in economies like India and China has helped millions of people escape the dungeons of poverty and based on current economic projections, the world is on track to reduce the number of extremely poor people by half, the World Bank and IMF said in a report. “Two-thirds of developing countries are on track or close to meeting key targets for tackling extreme poverty and hunger,” the World Bank and IMF report -- “Global Monitoring Report 2011: Improving the Odds of Achieving the MDGs” said.
On current trends, and despite the recent global economic crisis, developing countries are on track to reach the global target of cutting income poverty in half by 2015, thanks in large part to rapid growth in China and India, it added. Giving statistics, the report said the number of people living on less than USD 1.25 a day is projected to be 883 million in 2015, compared to 1.4 billion in 2005 and 1.8 billion in 1990. Regarding India, the report said in 1990 as many as 51.3 per cent of Indian population was living on less than USD 1.25 a day, which got reduced to 41.6% in 2005 and is expected to further decline to 22.4 % in 2015.
The decline in poverty has been more drastic in China, where in 1990, as much as 60 per cent people were living under USD 1.25 per day, which is likely to reduce to 4.8 per cent by 2015, the report added. Commenting on the findings, World Bank director of development prospects Hans Timmer said “reaching the MDGs is a significant achievement for developing countries. But there is still much to do in reducing poverty and improving health outcomes even in the successful countries”. Among developing countries, 45% are far from meeting the target on access to sanitation; 39% and 38% are far from the maternal and child mortality targets, respectively, the report added.
“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,” Hugh Bredenkamp , deputy director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department said. Bredenkamp further added that “advanced economies need to do their part to secure the global recovery, by repairing and reforming their financial systems and tackling their fiscal imbalances”. 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. Amidst 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, it said.