United Nations: About 500 million people can escape from poverty

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/06/26/31140.html ' target=_blank>AIDS, resurgent malaria, falling food output, deteriorating shelter conditions and environmental degradation have put Africa "far off track" toward achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

This was the finding of the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2001/07/19/10478.html ' target=_blank>United Nations Millennium Project which presented its report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday.

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/14462_earth.html ' target=_blank>Climate change could further worsen Africa's situation by increasing food insecurity, spreading vector-borne diseases and increasing the likelihood of natural disasters, the report said. The Millennium Development Goals ambitiously aim to halve extreme poverty and "radically improve" the lives of at least one billion people in developing countries by 2015, reports the Xinhua News.

According to the Globe and Mail, in the coming decade, more than 500 million people can escape from poverty and tens of millions can avoid certain death if rich countries keep their promises to vastly increase development aid to the world's poorest countries, a UN-sponsored report said Monday.

"The system is not working right now – let's be clear," said Professor Jeffrey Sachs, head of the UN anti-poverty effort and lead author of the report. "There's a tremendous imbalance of focus on the issues of war and peace, and less on the dying and suffering of the poor who have no voice.

"The overwhelming reality on our planet is that impoverished people get sick and die for lack of access to basic practical means that could help keep them alive and do more than that – help them achieve livelihoods and escape from poverty," said Mr. Sachs, who heads the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

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