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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Sub-Saharan Africa poverty grows
Children living in a slum in Angola
Sub-Saharan Africa is trapped in a cycle of poverty, says the report
Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the number of people living in abject poverty has grown over the past 20 years, says a United Nations report.

The UNIDO report says those living in absolute poverty in the region rose from 42% to 47% from 1981 to 2001.

It says absolute poverty dropped from 40% to 21% in the world as a whole.

The report says more foreign aid would help, but insists the best way to lift countries in the region out of poverty is to develop trade and industry.

The UN has set itself eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which it aims to achieve by 2015.

They include:

  • halving the number of people in absolute poverty - those earning $1 a day or less - compared with 1990

  • halving the proportion of people suffering hunger

  • establishing universal primary education

  • halting the spread of HIV/Aids.
But only a handful of more than 30 Sub-Saharan African nations were on track to reach the goals, said the report, by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Sub-Saharan Africa is the last frontier in the fight against abject poverty
Foreword, Industrial Development Report 2004, UNIDO
The targets will not be reached by "the poorest countries... which are seriously off-track, unless the international community and the countries themselves engage in significant additional efforts", says the report.

"Such a breakthrough cannot be expected to happen as a by-product of development, since development is what is blocked to start with."

In addition to good governance and macroeconomic management in those nations, the report recommends that the private sector be developed, economies diversify and agricultural productivity be dramatically improved.

"The required higher growth rates are not unattainable. They have been achieved elsewhere by countries such as China, India, [South Korea] and Thailand, which started at levels of income similar to those of Sub-Saharan African countries today," the report says.


SEE ALSO:
Africa's 'tragic' economic record
02 Jun 04  |  Business
World 'failing poverty pledges'
23 Apr 04  |  Business
Africa 'should not pay its debts'
06 Jul 04  |  Business
Mozambique transforms its economy
13 Apr 04  |  Business
Trade 'not easing' poor's plight
27 May 04  |  Europe
African leaders push development
12 Feb 04  |  Africa


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