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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) publishes an annual Human Development Report, which focuses on a different development issue each year. In addition, it publishes regional and national reports on poverty and development. The UNDP is one of the main proponents of the Millennium Development Goals; each year its Human Development Reports address progress toward the MDGs.
Other UN programs focus on specific facets of human development. The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, which is devoted to the rights and needs of children, publishes an annual report called State of the World's Children. Programs within UNICEF address children's health—most notably, children with HIV/AIDS—and education. UNICEF's Innocenti Research Center "promotes the effective implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in both developing and industrialized countries," publishing a variety of papers on such topics as child poverty, child work and labor, and conflict and displacement. UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, lists its primary purposes as "reducing feminized poverty; ending violence against women; reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls; and achieving gender equality in democratic governance in times of peace as well as war." The organization publishes reports and papers related to all of these subjects. Part of the mission of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization—is to monitor and report on the state of education in developing countries. Through its Education for All (EFA) program, UNESCO publishes an annual EFA Global Monitoring Report. The Food and Agriculture Department of the United Nations publishes an annual State of Food Insecurity in the World, and the World Food Program publishes information about its food aid programs on its Web site (http://www.wfp.org). The International Labor Organization is the UN program dedicated to policing and reporting on human and labor rights around the world, particularly poverty-related issues such as low wages, the informal economy, and human trafficking. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) focuses on improving the living conditions—especially reproductive health—of women in developing countries. The UNFPA publishes an annual State of World Population. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the arm of the United Nations devoted to tracking and promoting health issues, many of which particularly affect the poor, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, infectious disease, and child mortality. WHO publishes its World Health Report annually. IRINnews.org is an online news source run by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; it publishes news stories on events in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Like the UNDP, the World Bank is an international organization of member countries concerned with poverty and human development. The World Bank publishes numerous reports on the economic and development status of regions and individual nations in addition to its primary function of offering low-interest loans and lines of credit to underdeveloped and developing countries. The World Bank also publishes reports on topical issues affecting the poor, such as natural disasters.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is similar to the World Bank in its structure and goals, but is focused exclusively on ending poverty in Asian countries. The ADB publishes an annual report as well as a report called Asian Development Outlook.
The U.S. Bureau of the Census publishes the most recent statistics on poverty in its report Income, Poverty, and Insurance Coverage in the United States. On its Web site (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty.html) it provides valuable information on how poverty is measured and defined.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Web site (http://www.usda.gov) provides links to reports on regional and local poverty—particularly in rural areas—as well as information on food security and food assistance programs in the United States.
The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks historical and recent patterns of wages, unemployment, and careers. Its information is available in published reports and online.
Many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, and watchdog groups maintain Web sites that provide invaluable insight and information on poverty and the poor. Among them are Amnesty International; the Brookings Institution; the Chronic Poverty Research Center; Global Policy Forum; Human Rights Watch; the International Committee of the Red Cross; the International Forum on Globalization; the Institute for Economic Democracy; MADRE; the National Center for Children in Poverty; Oxfam International; Social Watch; and Women's Environment and Development Organization.