Subj:    Update

Date:   18/02/03




Dear Alex


I thought I'd let you know that my statements about the World Bank and the

"poverty gap ratio" or "depth of poverty" are now out of date.   They have

published statistics on this via the UN Statistical Division.


However, insofar as they have counted adults as needing the same amount of food

as children, it is not a poverty gap ratio.     


The more I look into all this, the more surprised I am that I, and others,

assumed that politicians would tell the truth about poverty.    After all, the

British government made a ridiculous statement about having lifted 1.2 million

children out of poverty in the UK, when it was clear that this referred to a

hypothetical comparison with what they claimed would have happened under the



I now laugh at myself for being so stupid as to believe that an organisation run

by finance ministers might prioritise objective research.