Basic services can work against poverty but are usually elusive, shows the latest World Development Report
Developing countries devote more than a third of their budgets on education, healthcare, water and sanitation services, but little is actually spent on the poor
The poor often pay more than the rich for the same goods and travel longer distances to avail basic services
India's richest fifth receives thrice the curative healthcare subsidy of the poorest fifth
Travel to the nearest primary school in Mali at 8 kilometres (km) or the nearest medical facility in Chad at 23 km are unaffordable although the service is free
A Mexican programme giving cash to the poor for visiting a clinic and sending their children to school reduced illness among children by 20 per cent and increased secondary enrolment by 5 to 8 per cent
Source: World Development Report 2004, The World Bank Group, Washington
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