Progress toward higher living standards stalls for many: UN report

2020-01-17 Xinhua Editor:Gu Liping

Progress toward higher living standards has stalled for many, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020, which was launched Thursday at the UN headquarters in New York.

Africa has experienced "a decade of near stagnation" in per capita GDP and many countries around the world "are still ailing from the effects of the commodity price downturn" of 2014-2016, which resulted in persistent output losses and setbacks in poverty reduction, said the report.

In one-third of commodity-dependent developing countries (home to 870 million people), average real incomes are lower today than they were in 2014. This includes several large countries such as Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

At the same time, the number of people living in extreme poverty has risen in several sub-Saharan African countries and in parts of Latin America and Western Asia. Sustained progress toward poverty reduction will require both a significant boost to productivity growth and firm commitments to tackle high levels of inequality, the report said.

"UN estimates indicate that to eradicate poverty in much of Africa, annual per capita growth of over 8 percent would be needed, compared to the just 0.5 percent average rate over the past decade," the report added.

The World Economic Situation and Prospects is an annual UN flagship publication on the state of the world economy, viewed through the lens of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a joint product of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the five UN regional commissions. Enditem

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