UN report: Nigeria, CDR lag behind in Africa poverty fight

By The Rainbow

A United Unation's report has cited Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among countries  failing in reducing poverty despite significant progress made by some other African countries and the world at large.

The report found these two countries of sub-Saharan Africa to be failing many areas and slowing down regional progress in Africa especially.

It also found that the African countries which direct government spending to health, education and agriculture are making swift progress on reducing extreme poverty, research has suggested.

The report, from anti-poverty campaign group One, comes a day before United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon receives proposals from a high-level panel co-chaired by David Cameron on a new framework for international development work following the expiry of the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Development will also be on the agenda next month when Mr Cameron hosts the G8 group of rich nations in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.

With less than 1,000 days to go until the deadline, One’s executive director for Europe Adrian Lovett warned that the current focus on the panel’s proposals for the post-2015 period must not result in the world forgetting the Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty as well as achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality rates and combating key diseases such as malaria.

Mr Lovett said: “This data shows that when developing countries go all out to improve health, education and agriculture, amazing things can happen. As David Cameron and others debate future anti-poverty goals, they must not lose sight of achieving the existing ones. It’s a make-or-break moment.”

Wednesday’s report said the number of people living in extreme poverty fell from 43% of the world’s population in 1990 to 21% in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of child deaths fell by 2.7 million from 9.6 million a year, malaria deaths declined by more than a quarter and MDG targets were met on access to clean water and achieving gender equality in primary education.

But the report – called Financing the Fight for Africa‘s Transformation – showed stark differences between the progress made in countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Top-performing countries include Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana and Ethiopia. But at the same time some very large countries, such as Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are failing in many areas and slowing down regional progress, the report found