Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 18:43 UK

Crisis 'to hit poor nations hard'

A street seller in Pakistan
Millennium Goals include empowering women and cutting poverty

Developing nations will "inevitably" struggle to meet poverty-tackling Millennium Development Goals due to the global crisis, the World Bank has said.

A sharp decline in demand for their exports means that growth in developing economies will fall sharply this year from the rates seen in 2008, it added.

A loss of aid, workers remittances and foreign investment would also hurt emerging economies, the report said.

Growth in emerging states pushed global growth between 2000 and 2007 to 4%.

"The long period of growth is now being interrupted by a global recession which has spread through the same channels that nourished the growth of the global economy, principally trade and investment, " said Shaida Baidee director if the Development Data Group which compiled the Bank's World Development Indicators report.

The figures would "help measure the impact of the crisis and, eventually, of global recovery", she added.

Poverty threat

Low-income commodity exporters - such as The Gambia, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea - could be most vulnerable to the slowdown in trade, the report said.

However it added countries which have had to import fuel - such as Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic - may benefit from oil prices being well off the highs of July last year.

And while remittances - money sent home by foreign workers - had been "surprisingly resilient" in 2008, they are expected to fall as unemployment rise in developed nations, and migrants who have lost their jobs return home.

The report said that "poor people in developing economies" were highly exposed to the global crisis.

The Millennium Goals, agreed to in 2000 by leaders of 189 nations, include targets to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, to cut infant mortality, to empower women and to promote gender equality.

But World Bank estimates for 2009 suggest that the crisis will push an extra 46 million people below its benchmark for poverty, of living on $1.25 a day or less.

And an extra 53 million people will be living on $2 a day, the bank said.

It also estimates that between 200,000 and 400,000 more children a year may die from 2009 and 2015 if the crisis persists.

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