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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid