The poor of Asia

One of the themes of this blog is that our country is not the world and we should all be more aware of other countries and other cultures. In that spirit, today I draw attention to a new report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) produced for this week’s meeting of the Asia and Pacific region of the organisation.
The report states that the region has made remarkable headway economically and now occupies a “premier position in the global economy.” However, while many countries in the region have made huge strides in reducing poverty, over 1 billion “working poor” are living under the US$2 per person, per day poverty line, including more than 330 million living in extreme poverty of less than US$1 a day. Unemployment rates have increased over those prevailing five to seven years ago in much of the region.
“The gap between growth and job creation is producing a deficit in decent work and putting the brakes on efforts to reduce poverty,” says Juan Somavia, Director-General of the ILO. “The jobs challenge is enormous. At approximately 1.9 billion working women and men, Asia’s labour force is huge and growing – by at least 14 per cent, or 250 million, over the next ten years.”