Neglect of Agriculture Condemns 218 Million People to Poverty, ESCAP Says
Chronic neglect of the agricultural sector in Asia and the Pacific is condemning 218 million people to continuing extreme poverty, and widening the gap between the region’s rich and poor, according to the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2008, launched at multiple locations today throughout the region by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
ESCAP to Launch Key Economic and Social Survey on Asia-Pacific Region
The Survey will be launched on Thursday, 27 March, 2008, at 0500 GMT, in more than 20 capitals in the region, and in New York and Geneva.
This year’s Survey, entitled “Sustaining Growth and Sharing Prosperity,” says 218 million – a third of the region’s poor, largely living in rural areas – could be lifted out of poverty by raising agricultural productivity if governments address decades of policy neglect and failure in the agricultural sector. The Survey also calls for a comprehensive liberalization of global trade in agriculture, as this would take a further 48 million people out of poverty in the region.
Sustaining Growth and Sharing Prosperity
- discusses outlook for Asia Pacific economies after registering fastest growth in a decade amidst rising risks from within the global financial markets
- evaluates subregional performances led by East and North-East Asia
- projects an outlook for 2008 with China and India key economic locomotives for the region
- identifies key economic issues to be watched, especially revitalizing agriculture’s role in fighting poverty
- estimates that 218 million people could be lifted out of poverty by boosting productivity in agriculture.
Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, having enjoyed their fastest growth in a decade, are expected to see it moderate to 7.7% in 2008, down from 8.2% in 2007.
Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) presented the first copy of
ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhion
27 March. Marking its 60th anniversary this year, Survey 2008 examines the Asia-Pacific
region’s key short- and medium-term prospects and challenges in macroeconomic and
selected social areas.