ICT for Poverty Reduction in Asia, 2003

Poverty in Asia is pervasive, massive, resilient and complex. Approximately 24 per cent of the population of developing countries in Asia, or about 760 million people, live in poverty. South Asia accounts for 61 per cent of Asia’s poor. Even if poverty is reduced by 25 per cent in India over the next decade, there will still be more than 300 million people living in poverty in that country. Poverty reduction efforts are therefore urgent and we need to do much better than we are doing at present. In order to give focus to the task of poverty reduction, the UN has defined eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. The goals cover areas such as income and consumption, education, gender equality, health, environmental sustainability and partnerships for development. The 2003 WSIS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference endorsed the important role that ICTs can play in achieving these goals. Accordingly, the case studies presented in this paper are organised into categories corresponding to these goals.

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