South Asian Regional Study on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Implications for Human Development

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Kelkar, Ulka; Bhadwal, Suruchi

Poverty alleviation is high on the agenda as a top development priority in most countries in South Asia. Population growth, paucity of resources, and lack of economic opportunities create pressures on ecologically fragile areas and natural resources. In India, the 10th Plan of the government has set a high growth target of 8% to induce rapid reduction in income poverty and attain ambitious human development goals. Though there have been considerable improvements in certain sectors regarding those on education and health, India still lags behind in addressing gender-sensitive indicators such as maternal mortality or the gender gap in secondary education, and the high incidence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and other infectious diseases. In Bangladesh, the percentage of people below the poverty line has decreased from 70.6 percent to 46.5 since 1973-74. The government plans to halve the proportion of people below the poverty line by 2010. Main areas of focus include promoting pro-poor growth, social development and good governance.