Some 400 million people in Asia and the Pacific still confront poverty as part of their daily lives due to widening income inequality, despite the region’s impressive gains in reducing income poverty in recent decades, according to a new report launched by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on March 29.

The report, titled Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing Asia-Pacific, notes that on top of the 400 million people — or one in ten — in the region living in extreme poverty, more than one in four people in Asia and the Pacific’s developing countries experience poverty in multiple dimensions.  This includes additional deprivations that impact their health, education, and standard of living.

The report underscores the importance of addressing poverty through pro-poor urbanization, effective management of rural-urban transitions, and investment in sustainable infrastructure.  Although people in extreme income poverty are more likely to live in rural areas, they are increasingly found in cities, therefore provision of high quality; low-carbon, and resilient infrastructure is essential.

The report recommends effective action on eradicating poverty, while tackling the systemic, sociocultural, and geographic factors that underpin marginalization, exclusion, and lack of human rights protection.  The number of people likely to be in vulnerable employment in the region is now greater than the global average, for example, and women are particularly affected.  Measures to ensure that all people can benefit from growth in the region on an equal footing are needed.

ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP also launched a new SDG Data Portal on March 29 to provide up to date data on SDG indicators for governments and stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific, along with an outlook assessment on SDGs in the region.