Poverty rates have increased from 54% in 2002-3 to 55% in 2008-9, the government admits. Increases in poverty have been particularly dramatic in the centre of the country. The figure is embarrassing for both donors and government, which have been loudly trumpeting a claimed unprecedented fall in poverty from 69% in 1996-7 to 54% in 2002-3. There are also indications that malnutrition is not falling, and may be increasing.
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