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IFAD Releases Rural Poverty Report 2011

6 December 2010: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has released the "Rural Poverty Report 2011," which provides updated estimates on the number of rural poor people in developing countries and rural poverty rates.

This 2011 edition of the report is the first since 2001. It notes that, in the past decade, over 350 million people have been lifted out of poverty, but global poverty remains a massive and predominantly rural phenomenon, with 70% of the developing world's 1.4 billion extremely poor people living in rural areas. It highlights achievements particularly in East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. It also describes challenges, including the high poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa and the lack of progress in South Asia. The report underscores threats to rural development posed by climate change, volatile food prices, and natural resource constraints.

It also notes ecosystems and biodiversity that sustain agricultural production are changing: for example, scarce and variable rainfall has already decreased the resilience of the high plateau ecosystem in eastern Morocco; the land is severely degraded and the carrying capacity of rangelands is no longer able to sustain growing demand. The report, thus highlights the challenges to boosting international agricultural productivity. In terms of opportunities, the report describes the growth of urban centers and better organized agricultural markets. It further outlines efforts to help poor rural people avoid and manage risks. The report was launched at Chatham House in London, UK. [IFAD Press Release] [Report Website]