Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sub-Saharan Africa comes second to South Asia in poverty

Among the 104 countries whose data has been analysed, the five nations of South Asia is the home of half the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) poor people at 51 per cent, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa.
"Whereas Arab States and Central and Easten Europe compose only two per cent and one per cent of MPI poor population, respectively," the new index to guage poverty developed by Oxford University shows.
According to MPI measurement, 1.7 billion people are living under multidimensional poverty which is greater than World Bank's measure of extreme income poverty that states that 1.3 billion people of the world are living below the daily income of $1.25.
"MPI is supposed to give a vivid multidimensional picture of people living in poverty as this delves deep into other factors besides income and consumption pattern to measure poverty," said Dr Sabina Alkire, director of Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Oxford University.
"It measures the condition of people with respect to a range of deprivations that afflict a person’s life at the same time," she said adding that the measure assesses the nature and intensity of poverty at the individual level in education, health outcomes, and standard of living. "Since this method studies acute poverty, this is more applicable to find the nature of poverty of least developed countries (LDCs).
MPI assesses the nature and intensity of poverty at the individual level. According to this measure, poor people are those who are multiply deprived and extent of their poverty depends on the extent of deprivations. MPI can be used to identify the most vulnerable people and they can be helped by the national policies.
Thus, this will help policy makers to target resources and design policies more effectively. The MPI measures poverty using 10 key indicators based on three dimensions – health, education and standard of living. The ten indicators directly measures deprivations in health and educational outcomes as well as key services such as water, sanitation, and electricity reveal not only how many people are poor but also the composition of their poverty.
Among these indicators eight are related to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), thus MPI also demonstrates the direction the countries are taking in the matter of attaining MDGs.
MPI is a new international measure of poverty developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) to mark United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s 20th Anniversary edition of Human Development Report. The report's full version will be released on November this year.


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