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Power supply key to solving poverty: scientific conference

English.news.cn   2012-10-26 07:27:03            

VIENNA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Lack of power resources and the inability to overcome natural catastrophes are two of the main problems facing developing countries, discussions at a scientific research conference concluded Thursday.

Scientists attending the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) conference in Vienna said 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia currently have no access to electricity, according to an APA report.

Senior researcher at the IIASA Energy Program (ENE) Shonali Pachauri said sufficient electricity supplies would relieve affected governments financially and are a key to fighting poverty.

"In India a comprehensive energy supply until 2030 could save 600 to 700 million dollars per year," she said.

She added that many households in India still use kerosene for lighting, which costs the government a billion dollars a year.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sierra Leone Ogunlade Davidson said more higher-education institutes would be needed to promote regions affected by the problem.

"The vicious cycle of lack of energy, lack of productivity, and poverty must be broken," he said.

IIASA Program on Risk, Policy and Vulnerability leader Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer said more money should be invested on disaster prevention, which could save up to three-quarters of the cost involved in an eventual disaster.

International aid following a disaster usually comes too late and is too little to cover the cost, usually covering only about 10 percent of funds required to address disaster sites, said the expert.

The three-day IIASA conference, in which highly esteemed scientists, politicians, and experts discuss solutions to global problems ends Friday.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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