The global goal of halving poverty by 2015 can still be achieved, despite nearly half of all developing countries falling short of the target set a decade ago, says the World Bank, in a new report.
The economic crisis that has raged over the past two years has set back efforts to achieve the Millenium Development Goals, a series of 15-year poverty reduction targets set by world leaders in 2000.
The global recession has reduced the number of people who would have been lifted out of poverty by 64 million. However, the developing world could still look to achieving the chief goal of 50 per cent reduction in the number of extreme poverty afflicted people or those who live on less than $1.25 a day.
The World Bank has found the progress ''uneven'' as per its annual report on the state of development. The report says just 49 of the 87 countries reviewed by the World Bank were no track to meet the poverty target by the 2015 deadline.
Countries in East Asia and the Pacific were leaders in achievement of targets; the region is expected to achieve 90 per cent reduction below 1990 levels by 2015. Additionally South Asia, the Middle East and Latin America would also meet the goal, however sub-Saharan Africa has been a lagging way behind.
Meanwhile, targets related to malnutrition and reducing child and maternal mortality rates would likely not be met with 38 mostly African countries not expected to achieve the goal of offering primary education for all children.
(Also See: 100 million more Indians slide below the poverty line)