DISASTERS OLD AND NEW
ATMOSPHERE AND CLIMATE
NEW REGIONAL INITIATIVES
CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE
Despite rising oil prices, the impact of severe natural disasters and the threat of bird flu, the region made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Environmental sustainability was further integrated into overall economic planning in the region.
The latest available data show that the Asia and Pacific region has made significant progress towards some of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs), but development and progress are uneven among sub-regions (United Nations 2005a). Dramatic progress has been made in eradicating extreme poverty. The number of people living on less than US$1 a day dropped by nearly 250 million from 1990 to 2001 mainly due to sustained growth in China and acceleration of the economy in India (United Nations 2005a). However, progress has been slow on reducing malnutrition, especially in South Asia, where half the children (aged 0-5 years) are malnourished (United Nations 2005a). Some progress has also been achieved in meeting Goal 7, ensuring environmental sustainability.
The most impressive gains in safe sources of drinking water were made in South Asia, boosted primarily by increased access in India (Figure 1). Progress was also made in improving energy efficiency and access to clean technology and fuels in
Eastern Asia and Southern Asia, although energy efficiency continued to decline in Southeast Asia (Figure 2). The number of
urban slum dwellers continued to increase in the region (Figure 3).