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This is the first of an annual series of Oxfam Reports which will aim to examine some of the fundamental problems associated with development. “A Picture of Poverty” does not claim to provide a blueprint for the alleviation of world poverty. It is merely an attempt to come to grips with some of the issues and concepts, to chart the progress, if any, that has been made, to look at some of the ways poverty may be tackled, to project what might occur in the future if certain strategies are followed, and to document what poverty actually means for the people who daily have to endure its curse. There are 800 million people in a state of absolute poverty – it is a monstrous prospect.

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