News / Africa

Report: Africa Not on Track to Meet Poverty Targets

Report: Africa Not on Track to Meet Poverty Targets
Report: Africa Not on Track to Meet Poverty Targets
Diaa Bekheet

The World Development Indicators 2010 has been released by the World Bank and shows that all regions except sub-Saharan Africa are on track to meet the poverty reduction target.  

World Development Indicators program manager Eric Swanson says this year's report from the World Bank shows progress is being made to fight poverty in poor and middle-income countries around the world.  

"Progress started very slowly in the first part of the new millennium and many of the targets that were collected were very ambitious," Swanson said. "But we have seen an acceleration, more countries on track to reach the targets individually and globally the averages are starting to look better."

This year's World Development Indicators focuses on the Millennium Development Goals, which are now in their 10th year.

The eight Millennium Development Goals are targets to fight poverty, hunger, and disease by 2015.

Some regions are already reaching those targets, says Swanson. In education, 50 countries have already reached the target to educate every child at least through primary school. And poverty is reducing at a rapid pace - particularly in Asia.

But in each of the eight categories, sub-Saharan Africa lags behind. Child mortality remains high, as does maternal mortality, HIV and malaria continues to spread, and the percentage of children in education is still lower than any other region in the world.

Swanson says sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of obstacles.

"You have had a decade or more in Africa of very slow economic progress in the nineties," Swanson said. "You have had civil war and other disruptions, you have had poor governance in many countries that has not allowed the economy to grow and, in particular, has not allowed poor people to share in the benefits of growth."

But he says progress is being made.  In Eritrea and Malawi child mortality has fallen sharply.  

"I think that shows that it is possible to make progress in Africa in spite of obstacles," Swanson said. "Malawi is a landlocked state, it is one of the ones we tend to worry most about, and yet it has demonstrated that when you focus attention on a problem you can make progress."

Jasmine Burnley, a policy advisor for the Britain-based charity Oxfam, says the biggest obstacle to meeting the Millennium Development Goals is finance.  She says unfair trade agreements and subsidies given by rich countries to their own agriculture sectors stifle Africa's economy.

"There are overall economic reforms which need to be made to help Africa get closer to the Millennium Development Goals, but a lot of it is about the financing," Burnley said.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last week that international donors are failing to meet their aid targets - and as a result Africa has received less than half the extra aid it has been promised.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid