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Submitted by Elizabeth Kleemeier on
The vast majority of the world's poor live in rural areas. That is also where most of the poorest of the poor live. The world needs to pursue development strategies and programs that promote equitable economic growth and the sustainable delivery of basic services in rural areas in order to help rural people to lift themselves out of poverty. Development strategies that focus largely on urban development, and extracting resources from rural areas for the benefit of urban consumers will worsen the plight of the rural poor. Attention to the problems of the world's mega-cities is without doubt critical, but it should not come at the expense of rural development. Such lop-sided development will only worsen the situation of the world's poorest in the long-run. In short, let's give more attention to small-holder economic development, and providing rural education, health, water, and sanitation services.