Developing countries' progress hampered by economic crisis: report

17:14, June 22, 2010      

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Developing countries' progress in achieving target of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is hampered by the world economic crisis, a report jointly compiled by the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Tuesday.

Presented in Jakarta by Delfin Go, WB leading economist of the Development Prospects Group, the report said that the crisis is having an impact in several key areas of the MDGs, including those related to hunger, child and maternal health, gender equality, access to clean water and disease control.

The report called "the Global Monitoring Report 2010: the MDGs after the Crisis" also said that the crisis will continue to affect long-term development prospects well beyond 2015.

It said that as a result of the crisis, 53 million more people will remain in extreme poverty by 2015 than otherwise would have.

Even so, the report said that the number of extreme poor could reach around 920 million five years from now, marking a significant decline from 1.8 billion in 1990.

However, Delfin Go told reporters after the presentation that developing countries are in the right track towards the MDGs, as they started from very low level.

"I think many developing countries are in a significant progress even though they are far behind the targets in the MDGs," said Go.

Based on these estimates, the developing world as a whole is still on track to achieve the first MDGs of halving extreme income poverty from its 1990 level of 42 percent by 2015.

Both the 2008 food price crisis and the financial crisis that hit this year have played a role in exacerbating hunger in the developing world.

The report said that the critical MDGs target of halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger from 1990 to 2015 appears very unlikely to be met as over a billion people struggle to meet basic food needs.

It said that malnutrition among children and pregnant women has a multiplier effect, accounting for more than one-third of the disease burden of children under age five and over 20 percent of maternal mortality.

According to the World Bank's projection, for the period from 2009 to the end o 2015, an estimated 1.2 million additional deaths may occur among children under five due to crisis-related causes.

Murilo Portugal, the IMF's Deputy Managing Director, said in the report that the financial crisis was a severe external shock that hit poor countries hard, its effects could have been far worse were it not for better policies and institutions in developing countries over past 15 years.

"The crisis in the developing world has a potentially serious impact in everyday life since the margin of safety for so many people is so slim in even the best of times," he said.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李牧(实习))

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