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India, China lead in lifting people out of urban slums, UN says

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

(Read caption) New high-rise buildings are being constructed all over the city of Mumbai. India and China, as two of the most populous nations, have lifted more people from urban slum conditions than any other countries, says a new UN-Habitat report.

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In the past 10 years, some 227 million people have been raised from slum conditions across the world, says a new United Nations report on the state of the world's cities.

But the number of people living in slums has still grown, adding 55 million over the past decade to reach 827.6 million this year.
 
China and India, as the most populous nations, lifted more from slum conditions than any other countries, the report adds. China's urban population living in slums fell from 37.3 percent in 2000 to 28.2 percent today; in India, nearly 60 million were lifted from slum conditions over the same time. The authors credit China's economic reforms and pro-growth and urbanization policies, and India's efforts to provide microcredit, tenure, and basic services in slums.
 
 "For the first time we are moving toward ... accommodating of the poor and of the slums," says Amita Bhide, an associate professor at the Centre for Urban Planning and Governance at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

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