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Poverty Reduction Uniting East Asia

A regional body has proposed the creation of an online platform to be used for supervision and analysis of poverty alleviation measures among East Asian nations.

The proposal was touted at the East Asian Poverty Analysis and Data Initiative (PADI) Consultative Meeting and Regional Workshop on poverty monitoring and evaluation taking place from Thursday in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province.

The idea stemmed from Shahid Khandker, chief economist with World Bank, who said an online mechanism would enable easy information gathering and statistical analysis for PADI members.

Thanks to data garnered from this platform, East Asian experts and officials will better be able to propose effective collaborating efforts to tackle poverty eradication, through better understanding grassroots causes of poverty.

At the moment, woeful poverty monitoring data has often revealed itself to be incomplete or unreliable while reliable statistics are almost wholly absent, said Khandker. Compounded with a lack of analytical frameworks, the need for a joint online platform is urgent.

PADI was first founded in May 2000 at the call of the World Bank Institute grouping China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Laos, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mongolia.

International Poverty Reduction Centre in China chief Zhang Lei added his views that more personnel training on poverty analysis and data gathering would also be beneficial.

Current World Bank standards label as poor anyone living on under US$1 a day. By the financial body's statistics, around 552 million of the world's 1.1 billion poor live in East Asia.

The World Bank standard for poverty has it that anyone who lives on less than daily should be classified as poor.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2007)

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