About 1.4 billion people still live in abject poverty despite the numerous national and global efforts during the past years on the first target of the Millennium Development Goals, which aims at reducing extreme poverty by one-half by the year 2015, country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in The Gambia said
According to Dr Babagana Ahmadu as at 2011, the poorest 40 per cent of the world's population accounted for five per cent of total global income while the richest 20 per cent accounted for three-quarters of the world's income.
The FAO country rep was speaking on Thursday at the end of a three-day workshop marking the official launching of the International Fund for Agricultural Development-funded project - National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development.
Furthermore, he said, 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.
He emphasised the need for efforts to be accelerated in the poverty reduction strides, pointing out that poverty remains a predominantly rural problem, as the majority of the world's poor are located in rural areas.
It is estimated that 76 per cent of the developing world's poor live in rural areas.
According to Dr Ahmadu, 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, whilst poverty rates increase as rural areas become more remote.
People living in the rural areas tend to have less access to social services, exacerbating the effects of rural poverty.
The FAO Country rep explains further: "Over the years, there has been tremendous support to various types of interventions aimed at reducing poverty, and as it stands now it looks like most developing countries will not meet this MDG critical target.
He said: “Therefore, the fundamental questions [are] related to key critical issues such as insufficiency of assistance, miss-targeting of resources, and lack of effective strategies or understanding the poverty and its dynamics.