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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
CAFOD say rich nations are ignoring poor at UN summit
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¬†CAFOD has accused world leaders of turning their back on the world's poor as poverty talks have been sidelined at this week's UN World Summit in New York. The agency said the United States and other powerful countries have hijacked the event and diluted talks on the Millennium Development Goals in favour of security and terrorism. A report commissioned by CAFOD and its partners in Zambia - 'The Cost of Meeting the Millennium Development Goals in Zambia' is the first to research the actual financial cost of meeting the poverty targets. It shows that the country has a genuine chance to achieve the targets with a further investment of £60 (US$110) per person per year. CAFOD's Policy Analyst for Africa Henry Northover said: "The World Summit is descending into chaos where the interests of rich countries are undermining any of their previous commitments to help the most vulnerable. This is unacceptable to the millions who believed their promises and shows the international community do not seem to take the Millennium Development Goals seriously. "The tragedy of the Summit is that the US and others are throwing cold water onto the burning issues of poverty and darkening the hopes of millions of people who stand a chance of improving their lives." According to CAFOD's report nearly half a million Zambian children aged between 7 and 15 years of age did not attend school last year. Chronic food shortages will affect over 300,000 households in rural areas and 74,000 households in urban areas. Half of the ten million population have access to safe drinking water. The report shows that these figures could change dramatically and that Zambia could meet its poverty targets if there was significant financial assistance and support given to the country to generate its own money. CAFOD partner, The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) in Zambia, is a contributor to the report. Director Peter Henriot said: "To achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Zambia by 2015 would mean tremendous improvements to the lives of all our ten million citizens. Today 70 to 80 per cent of the population live below the poverty line, unable to met basic daily needs, life expectancy is under forty years, infant and maternal mortality are high and our health and education systems are sadly lacking in the basics."
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