Government lends support to report on global poverty

The Government has backed a report that claims global millennium targets to tackle poverty in the developing world are at risk of failing, with 80 million children and mothers at risk of death.

The report, by the Grow Up Free From Poverty Coalition, which includes Cafod, Tearfund and Save the Children, warns that radical improvements are needed in global healthcare over the next 12 years to prevent the deaths.

The figure is based on current child mortality rates that see millions of lives lost through preventable illnesses such as pneumonia.

Progress towards meeting two of the millennium development goals - to cut child poverty by two thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015 - is faltering, the report found.

In many countries the decline in child and maternal mortality rates has stalled or reversed, with some African countries needing another 150 years to achieve the targets.

Coalition chairman George Gelber said: "We support Gordon Brown's call for doubling aid to tackle poverty with the International Finance Facility. But while we cannot make progress without more resources, we need analysis of why policies have failed."

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