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Breaking the poverty trap through education

Lack of access to opportunities perpetuates vicious cycle in Asia

John Wood, founder of Room to Read, reads books with children in Vietnam.

TOKYO -- Despite the rise of many Asian economies over the past few decades, poverty levels remain an uncomfortable reminder of lingering inequality in the region. 

According to Asian Development Bank estimates, which use a region-specific poverty line and incorporate the effects of food insecurity and vulnerability, Asia's poverty rate in 2010 stood at 49.5%, with the number of people in extreme poverty at 1.7 billion, just over 40% of the continent's population.

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