In South Asia, almost 30 per cent of the population is still living on a dollar a day

July 3, 2007 | By Editor | Reply More

Youth Community Multimedia Centre in Sitakundo, Bangladesh. This types of training is required for woman’s skill development in South Asia.South Asia is lagging behind in achieving the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, particularly with regard to women and children, and almost 30 per cent of the people in the region are still living on a dollar a day.

These are the findings of the Millennium Development Goals Report 2007 that was released Monday (2nd July 2007), Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. South Asia’s path to the MGDs may be obstructed by challenges in areas such as health, gender equality and environmental sustainability, it said, adding unplanned urbanisation and fast rate of HIV/AIDS in some parts of the region were other areas of concern.

Progress in improving child nutrition was “still unacceptably low”, it said, warning that if the current trend continues, Asia will fall short of reaching the MGD target of halving the proportion of underweight children, due to slow progress in South and South-East Asia.

“They are still among the sub regions with the highest percentage of children under five suffering from malnutrition — with 46 and 28 per cent of children respectively.”

“…while Asia has made dramatic progress in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, halving the proportion of people living on one dollar a day, there is evidence that benefits of economic growth are not being shared across different parts of the continent,” the UN said.

“In South Asia, almost 30 per cent of the population is still living on a dollar a day,” it added.

The report said Asia is lagging in meeting the goal of promoting gender equality and empowerment and noted that large number of women are still shut out of jobs and receive poor health care.

On health issues, the report said, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa share the distinction of having the highest number of maternal deaths — and the lowest proportion of skilled health attendants at birth.

“Only slightly more than one-third of women in South Asia receive attention from health-care personnel when giving birth,” it said.

In politics and government, the report said the gains for women were “modest”. In south Asia the share of women serving in Parliaments went up from six percent in 1990 to 13 per cent in 2007.

South East Asia saw 10 per cent share rise in the same period to 17 per cent while in East Asia, women representation actually dropped one percentage to 19 per cent.

In South Asia, the UN said, participation of women in paid, non- agricultural employment rose from 13 per cent to 18 per cent between 1990 and 2005 — still the lowest percentage of women working for wages, aside from farm labour, among all the regions of the world.

At the South Asia media launch of the report in India, Planning Commission member Syeda Hammed said to medias that, the benefits of “our growth have not trickled down to the poorest of poor who are unable to access even the most essential of services.

“This MGD study shows us that poverty reduction has indeed been accompanied with rising inequality in our region,” she said.

She said despite all resources the situation continues and the problem lies at the doorstep of governance.

“We have the will, we have resources and we have the flagship programmes…but the issue is that how you really improve the governance so that the money is actually spent for the benefit of the concerned,” she said.

Photo: YPSA

Category: South Asia

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.