Over 40 pct of Mauritania's rural population living in poverty: UN

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Over 40 percent of Mauritania's rural population is living in a situation of crippling poverty, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty, Philips Alston, said Wednesday in Nouakchott.

Alston who was addressing the press at the end of his one-week visit to Mauritania, said 44 percent of the population in southern regions like Gorgol, Brakna and Trarza were living in extreme poverty.

"The country's stability risks being compromised if benefits of economic growth are not equitably shared," he warned.

Regarding the issue of slavery in Mauritania, the UN official urged the government to put in more efforts "to achieve its promise of fighting against the vice."

He hailed "efforts done so far by the government to fight against poverty," but urged the authorities to take note that the problem was severe among minority groups that did not have adequate access to education, water and health.

He equally urged the Mauritanian authorities to "change the way development policies are formulated and executed," so that they can be beneficial to a large section of the population. Endit

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