India is home to a quarter of the world's poor

"Health activists are advocating for greater capital investment in public health. India currently spends an abysmal one percent of its GDP on health, half the sum allocated by neighbouring China. Even Russia and Brazil, two other nations in the BRICS association of emerging economies of which India is a part, invest 3.5 percent of their respective GDPs on health." "Speaking at the launch of the U.N. report on India last week, Shamshad Akhtar, under-secretary-general of the U.N., advocated for a new sustainable agriculture-based green revolution, which could contribute to ending hunger not only in India but across South Asia at large." "According to the World Bank India accounts for 21 percent of deaths among children below five years of age. Its maternal mortality ratio (MMR) – the number of women who die during pregnancy, delivery or in the first 42 hours of a termination per 100,000 live births – is 190. Countries like Ecuador and Guatemala fare better than India, with MMRs of 87 and 140 respectively. Addressing these issues will be a considerable challenge as India is home to 472 million children or about 20 percent of the world’s child population, while nearly 50 percent of its population is comprised of women." "The allocation for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), an initiative to provide employment to all adult members of poor Indian families for five dollars per day, is now the lowest it has been in five years."

Source: Neeta Lal, "Millennium Development Goals: a mixed report card for India," Inter Press Service, February 2015,

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