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New UN poverty report reveals vast inequalities between countries

12.07.2019 18:56 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) As of this week, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has issued a recurrent global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), UN Radio reports. As to the report, the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index says there are vast inequalities both among the countries as well as among the poorer segments of societies. It is to be admitted, the Index has studied 101 countries (31 low income, 68 middle income and 2 high income). As to the Index, now 1.3 milliard people worldwide «multidimensionally poor»(which means that poverty is defined not simply by income, but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor quality of work and the threat of violence). As to the Index, now the poverty is everywhere, inequality within countries is massive. «Action against poverty is needed within all developing regions», the Index affirms, noting that Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to the largest proportion of poor people, some 84.5%. Within these regions, the level of inequality is described as «massive»: thus, within Sub-Saharan Africa it ranges from 6.3% within South Africa to 91.9% within South Sudan. The disparity within South Asia is from 0.8% within the Maldives, to 55.9% within Afghanistan. Many of the countries studied within the Index show «extensive» internal levels of inequality: within Uganda, for example, the incidence of multidimensional poverty in the different provinces, ranges from 6% within Kampala, to 96.3% within Karamoja. As to the Index, children worldwide bear the greatest burden. Thus, from over half of the entire 1.3 milliard people which are identified as poor, some 663 million are children under the age of 18, and around a third (some 428 million) are under the age of 10. The vast majority of these children, around 85%, live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, split roughly equally between the two regions. The picture is particularly dire in Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Niger and South Sudan, where 90% or more of children under the age of 10, are considered to be multidimensionally poor. However, at same time, one section of the Index evaluates the progress that is being made within reaching Goal 1 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, namely ending poverty «in all its forms, everywhere». So, the Index identifies 10 countries (with a combined population of around 2 milliard people) to illustrate the level of poverty reduction, and all of them have shown statistically significant progress towards achieving Goal 1. The fastest reductions were seen within India, Cambodia and Bangladesh. However, the Index admits that no single measure is a sufficient guide to both inequality and multidimensional poverty, and that studies such as the MPI, Human Development Index, and Gini coefficient (which measures countries wealth income distribution) can each contribute important and distinctive information for policy action to effectively reduce poverty.

Agro Perspectiva

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