In many parts of Africa 80% to 90% of people live in extreme poverty. Parents struggle to feed their children, and the life expectancy of many children in around five years. Adults rarely live beyond the age of 50 years.
New government figures released on 7 May 2009 confirm that progress on fighting poverty in the UK had come to a halt, even before the current recession, says the campaigning organisation Church Action on Poverty.
A senior South African Roman Catholic cleric has called on the newly-elected African National Congress government, led by Jacob Zuma, to go all out in its efforts to eradicate poverty, HIV and AIDS throughout the country.