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Millions living in absolute poverty
 Millions living in absolute poverty

Around one billion children in the developing world are victims of severe deprivation, according to a new study.

The UNICEF-commissioned research also shows that some 674m children live in absolute poverty.

The report's authors say the results sound an alarm bell for the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

The MDG includes a commitment to wiping out extreme poverty by 2015.

Report co-author Shailen Nandy warned: "At this rate the MDG are unlikely to be met, given declining international commitment to development aid.

"The results of cutting public spending on basic social services have been an increase in poverty and inequality, a fact which organisations like the World Bank need to acknowledge."

The report, Child Poverty in the Developing World, concludes that much more emphasis needs to be placed on basic infrastructure and social services.

It also warns against introducing blanket solutions that have no response to local conditions.

One suggested solution is an international investment fund for payment towards national schemes of child benefit.

More than 34% of children in the developing world were living in dwellings with more than five people per room or which had a mud floor, and 31% had no toilet facility.

Some 91m (15%) children under five were severely malnourished.

The report also found that nearly 376m children used unsafe water sources or had more than a 15-minute walk to water.

Around 134m children aged 7-18 had never been to school.

Last Updated: 12:17 UK, Wednesday October 22, 2003
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