8% GDP growth helped reduce poverty: UN report

February 06, 2015 01:54 am | Updated April 02, 2016 03:08 am IST - New Delhi:

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has said the 8 per cent GDP growth in India from 2004 to 2011 led to a sharp decline in poverty from 41.6 per cent to 32.7 per cent and achieved the first Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2015 of reducing poverty by half.

In a report — India and the MDGs — UN ESCAP said other MDGs achieved include gender parity in primary school enrolment, maternal mortality reduction by three-fourths and control of spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. India also achieved MDGs related to increased forest cover, halved the proportion of population without access to drinking water.

The MDGs that India has missed are universal primary school enrolment and completion and universal youth literacy by 2015, empowering women through wage employment and political participation, reducing child and infant mortality and improving access to adequate sanitation to open defecation, the report says.

“Over 270 million people in India in 2012 still remained trapped in extreme poverty making the post-2015 goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 challenging, but feasible.”

UN under-secretary general and executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia Shamshad Akhtar said at the release of the report: “Over the years, the MDGs have pushed governments around the world to mainstream poverty reduction, gender parity, education and health and such basic needs as water and sanitation in their development agenda.”

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