Written by Stephen P. Groff, Asian Development Bank’s Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, writing on the Effective Development Co-operation blog:
“Any contemporary story on development in Asia-Pacific begins with reflection on massive gains achieved in the fight against poverty. The incidence of people living at less than $1.25 a day fell from 54.5% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010, with the number of extreme poor declining from 1.48 billion to 733 million. This precipitous decline in poverty incidence has been accompanied by tremendous gains in access to health and education.
Without diminishing the progress made over the last 25 years, the region remains somewhat of a paradox: enviable growth and wealth on one hand and dire poverty and inequality on the other. Asia-Pacific remains home to more than 60% of the world’s extreme poor and two-thirds of the world’s hungry. While we’ve seen progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it is uneven across and within countries. Despite eye-popping gross domestic product growth – increasing income inequality and vulnerability, infrastructure constraints, climate change and disaster risks threaten to undermine achievements.”
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