Monday, June 08, 2009

U. N.: India may not meet MDG 1

Despite the outstanding growth that India experienced in recent years, the global economic recession may prevent the country from reaching Millennium Development Goal number 1, which is halving hunger by 2015.

From Malaysia's Bernama, we read more about the United Nations report that examines India's progress.

"As the full implications of the global financial crisis unfold, questions are being raised on its impact on India's human development and achievement of the MDGs," the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted the UNDP India Senior Assistant Country Director Seeta Prabhu as saying.

India is doing good by the government's definition of poverty, but not as per the World Bank's estimates, Prabhu said in a paper titled 'Global Financial Crisis: Impact on India's Poor'.

"If the national poverty line is used as the definition, the country is generally considered to be well on track to reduce the headcount ratio of poverty, but not if the World Bank's estimates of proportion of population below the newly defined extreme poverty line of USD 1.25 per day is considered," she said in her paper.

Besides, she said, irrespective of the poverty estimate one uses, there is a distinct possibility that poverty levels may be higher than expected in the next couple of years till the economy resumes a faster growth path.

"Higher food prices would aggravate the situation and push back further the possibility of India reaching the target in Goal-I which aims at hunger eradication by 2015," she said.

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