The number of poor people in India is expected to halve by 2015, according to the 2010 Millennium Development Goals report released on Wednesday. The poverty rate in the country is slated to decline from 51% of the population in 1990 to 24% over the next five years. That translates into around 188 million more people meeting a minimum subsistence standard of $1.25 a day—the benchmark for the report's findings.
In China, the poverty rate is expected to drop to 5% of the population by 2015.
Said economist Jayati Ghosh: “Removing poverty is clearly the most important of the goals as it has clear linkage to the other MDGs.” The United Nations member states had in 2000 agreed to eight MDGs. These were to halve the prevalence of poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.
And while India is likely to meet the first one of eight goals identified under the United Nations programme — to eradicate extreme poverty — the progress in the rest of South Asia has been characterised as slow and not sufficient to cut poverty to half by 2015.
In the South Asian region, the incidence of people employed in vulnerable jobs is estimated to have increased from 44% in 2008 to 51% in 2009. Vulnerable employment is characterised by inadequate earnings, substandard working conditions and a lack of formal arrangements and benefits, according to a UN release.
CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat said, “We see the report as a red alert. Deep impact of crisis can be seen.”