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UN Reports Progress on Anti-Poverty Goals

The United Nations is reporting signs of some progress in meeting global anti-poverty goals set in 2000.

But a top U.N. official says poverty reduction efforts in the poorest parts of the world face "staggering" obstacles, with conditions in some impoverished regions actually worsening.

U.N. Undersecretary General Jose Antonio Ocampo's comments today (Monday) in Geneva coincided with the release of a U.N. progress report.

While noting decreases in extreme poverty across much of the world, the report says 140-milllion more people in sub-Saharan Africa have joined the ranks of those living on a dollar a day or less.

The eight so-called Millenium Development goals, set forth in 2000, target health, poverty and environmental issues, and include halving by 2015 the number of people living in abject poverty.

The Millenium project also targets infectious diseases, including AIDS and malaria.

The report noted large jumps in school enrollments in India, and said that 95 percent of Latin American children are attending classes.

Less than two-thirds of school children in sub-Saharan Africa were enrolled in school in 2004 -- a figure well behind the 86 percent average for developing countries.

The report also said that distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets increased tenfold in sub-Saharan Africa.