News

UNDP: Higher Food Prices Likely to Deepen Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia

Progress in achieving MDGs under threat, new report finds 11 September 2008: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has

released the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2008, which finds that

the strong and sustained progress in reducing extreme poverty achieved by the

world is being undercut by higher prices, particularly of food and oil, and the

global economic slowdown.

The Report states that, since 2002, rising prices for

minerals and agricultural raw materials have contributed to economic growth in

all developing regions, but that many developing countries are now facing

higher import bills for food and fuel, jeopardizing their growth. In the

forward to the Report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states that: the

economic slowdown will diminish the poor's incomes; the food crisis will push

millions more into poverty; and climate change will have a disproportionate

impact on the poor.

Noting that addressing these concerns should not detract

efforts to reach the MDGs, he urges a sustained focus on the MDGs while

tackling these challenges. The nexus between poverty, climate change, and food

and fuel costs will be taken up by the UN General Assembly as it re-convenes

this month. Ban has also called for a special high-level event to boost global

action to achieve the MDGs, which will be held on 25 September 2008.

In

addition, on 22 September 2008, the UN General Assembly will hold a high-level

meeting on the development needs of Africa, a region facing severe challenges

in terms of climate change, agriculture and poverty reduction. [UNDP

Press Release]