UN: Rich must not cut aid to poor to balance budget

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pressed debt-ridden donor countries on Monday not to cut aid to the poor despite their budgetary woes.

“We should not balance budgets on the backs of the poor,” Ban told 140 leaders at the start of a three-day summit to review progress in meeting U.N. poverty goals by 2015.

During their speeches, leaders pledged to step up efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — agreed 10 years ago. But, as expected, they offered little in the way of new resources to help the world’s poorest countries.

The United Nations agrees the world will meet the goals to halve global poverty and hunger by 2015 but is behind on other goals which cover improving child education, child mortality and maternal health; combating diseases including AIDS, and promoting gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Rising incomes in emerging economic powers like China is the main reason for progress in tackling poverty there, while population growth has set back efforts in Africa and India.