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UN Warning Of Human Development Catastrophe

UN Warning Of Human Development Catastrophe

10 December 2007

Millions of people in developing countries will have to cope with increased and more severe droughts, storms and floods, according to the United Nations Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report 2007-08.

While world leaders enter their second week in Bali to try to agree on solutions to the global climate change crisis, the report is warning that progress built up over generations in health, education and in cutting extreme poverty could be reversed within a generation.

It says that we could be witnessing the onset of major human development reversal in our lifetime. Climate change will undermine international efforts to combat poverty.

New Zealand Council for International Development Executive Director, Rae Julian says it is clear that the world’s poorest people are the first to suffer the consequences of climate change and will feel the effects more severely than those in developed countries.

“Increased exposure to environmental stress is holding back the efforts of the world’s poor to build a better life for themselves and their children.”

Seven years ago, in 2000, the world’s political leaders set a series of goals in a bid to reduce extreme poverty. The Millennium Development Goals ambitiously set targets to combat hunger, reduce preventable disease and provide universal access to education.

“While many countries are off track to achieving these goals, progress has been made,” says Ms Julian. “Climate change, however, is now hampering efforts to deliver on the MDG promise. Clearly the fight against poverty and the fight against the effects of climate change are inter-related.”

“Climate change demands urgent action from all political leaders and from all developed societies because failure will consign 40 percent of the world’s poorest population – 2.6 billion people – to a future of even fewer opportunities.”

ENDS

The report can be found on http://hdr.undp.org/en/

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