Despite growth, an increased number of World's Poorest

Record growth in the world's poorest countries has failed to prevent an increase in their total numbers of poor people, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.

Recent rising food costs threaten to undercut what modest progress has been achieved, while three quarters of people living in least developed countries (LDCs) still survive on less than $2 a day, it said in a report. Income under $2 a day does not allow most people to meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, health or education, the LCD Report 2008 noted.

Growth had some impact on absolute poverty, defined as those living on less than $1 a day.

Sharp rises in food prices in 2007 and early 2008 have led the prices of staples such as maize, wheat and rice to double in some countries over the past year and a half, a severe blow to poor people spending a large share of their income on food.


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