India is home to world’s 1/3rd of extreme poor population: UN study
NEW DELHI: India is home to the largest number of poor with one-third of the world’s 1.2 billion extreme poor living here. It also had the highest number of under-five deaths in the world in 2012, with 1.4 million children dying before reaching their fifth birthday, according to the UN Millennium Development Goals report 2014.
Poverty rates in Southern Asia fell from 51% in 1990 to 30% two decades later with China leading the way. Extreme poverty in China came down from 60% in 1990 to 16% in 2005 and 12% in 2010. In India poverty reduction was sluggish in comparison coming down from 49.4% in 1994 to 42% in 2005 and 32.7% in 2010. Two-thirds of the extreme poor (those who lived on income less than $ 1 a day) live in India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Congo.
Commenting on the report, minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla said its findings present a challenge to the government under Narendra Modi and that it would be able to surmount it. “Good days will come,” she said. “We don’t have to be proud of what we have done. Poverty is the biggest challenge … I am sure when the next report comes, we will have done much better,” she said, stressing on the Prime Minister’s commitment to poverty elimination and his mantra of “sabka saath sabka vikas (With all, development for all)”.
According to the report, almost 60% of the people who defecate in open reside in India, which also accounted for 17% of global maternal deaths. South Asia has halved its under-five mortality but in 2012 the region accounted for 2.1 million of the 6.6 million deaths in children under five worldwide and has the second highest under-five mortality rate among all regions with sub-Saharan Africa being the worst.
South Asia, of which India is the largest and most populous country, has fared worse than other Asian regions in most of the parameters. The region has, however, done well in school enrolment.
UN Resident Coordinator Lise Grande said India’s role in global development is very important and the Millennium Development Goals can’t be reached globally if they’re not reached here.
Times of India