About a fifth of mankind still live in abject poverty, dispute the numerous national and global efforts during the past years on the first target of the Millennium Development Goals which aimed to decrease extreme poverty by one-half by the year 2015.
Abdou Touray, Programme Specialist – Poverty and MDGs at the United Nations Development Programme country office in The Gambia said as of 2011 the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population account for 5 percent of global income and the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarter of world income.
“Rural areas account for three in every four people living on less than US$1 a day and similar share of the world population suffering from malnutrition,” Mr Touray said on Monday at the commencement of the 7th Regional Forum for IFAD-funded Projects held in The Gambia from 12th to 15th November 2012.
According to the Mr Touray, poverty remains predominantly rural problems as the majority of the world’s poor are located in rural areas.
He said: “It is estimated that 76 percent of the developing world’s poor live in rural areas, well above the overall population share living in rural areas, which is only 58 percent.”
Disparities between rural and urban areas are on the rise, particularly in many developing and transitional countries.
Globally, rural people and rural places tend to be disadvantaged relative to their urban counterparts and poverty rate increase as rural areas become more remote. Individuals living in rural areas tend to have less access to social services, exacerbating the effects of rural poverty.
According to the poverty specialist, over the years there has been tremendous support to various types of interventions aimed at reducing poverty. However, he observed that as it stands now, it looks like most developing countries particularly Sub-Saharan Africa countries will not met the Millennium Development Goals target of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
He said: “Therefore the fundamental questions related to key critical issues: insufficiency of assistance, mis-targeting of resources, lack of effective strategies and / or understanding the poverty and its dynamics. All could be true but one thing that stands out clearly is that resources made available to fight poverty are not been managed optimally for producing positive results.