The number of people living in poverty in the world's 50 least developed countries is rising despite their economies growing at the fastest pace in 30 years, a UN report said
In its annual Least Developed Countries Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said that overall growth rates of 7% in the countries between 2005 and 2006 should have provided an opportunity for "substantial improvements" in living conditions. But three-quarters of their people continue to survive on less than $2 (£1) a day and 277 million people live on less than $1 a day, compared with 265 million in 2000 and 245 million in 1995.Low progress in reducing poverty means the countries will not be able to achieve the first of the UN millennium development goals, halving the proportion of those living on less than $1 a day between 1990 and 2015. To achieve this, they would need to cut their absolute poverty rate to 20% by 2015. Unctad said that if current trends continued, they would only achieve 33% of the target by that date.
Unctad believes the global food crisis will worsen the situation. Sharp rises in international food prices in 2007 and early 2008 have led to domestic food costs soaring. In some countries the prices of staples such as maize, wheat and rice have doubled in the past 18 months.Two-thirds of the countries import more food than they export.
Capitalism fails to deliver , just as socialists predicted .