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.
Leading members of the Church of England share the concern of five Anglican bishops about the impact of government economic and social policies on the most vulnerable, a new Sunday newspaper survey claims.
People in the poorest countries are being forced into poverty by having to repay hundreds of millions of dollars of illegitimate loans from wealthy Western countries to greedy dictators, an international conference has heard.
As world leaders gather for make or break talks about halving extreme global poverty, development agencies, including Britain's Christian Aid, warn that progress is being hampered by the activities of rich countries and big business.