A World Bank report says South Asian countries can significantly reduce poverty in the next 10 years by increasing investment, improving labor quality and addressing gaps in income.
The Economic Growth in South Asia report, released Sunday, says South Asia's decade-long economic expansion has made life better for many poor people. But, it said, without changes to economic policies, that rapid economic growth may be difficult to keep up.
Shantayanan Devarajan, co-author of the report and World Bank chief economist for South Asia, said the region "must create the conditions and incentives necessary to sustain and accelerate growth that benefits all. The economic well-being of several hundred millions of people depends on it."
The report said the number of people living in poverty could drop by two-thirds if economic growth jumps to 10 percent a year until 2015.
The report praised East Asian countries, where growth rates of 7 to 10 percent have lifted millions from poverty.