ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
In spite of marked improvements in the levels of poverty in Ethiopia, 90% of children under the age of 10 are poor, according to a new UN Development Program report.
This sobering statistic was highlighted in a media briefing by UNDP Resident Representative for Ethiopia Turhan Saleh and UNDP National Economist Haile Kibret in connection with the release of the 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
Despite improvements in the overall poverty levels in the country, the fact that too many children remain in deep poverty is a serious cause of concern, according to Saleh.
“We have some work left,” he said.
“The rate at which population is growing is faster than the rate at which poverty is being reduced.”
Overall, MPI improved in 2011-2016 in Ethiopia largely due, according to Saleh, to the right investments made by the government – investments in water, sanitation, education and health.
The MPI shows inequalities by measuring levels of poverty looked at from access to health, education, sanitation, water, asset, and income, among others.
“Ethiopia made the largest improvements in nutrition, school attendance, drinking water and assets,” the press release said.
“The 2019 global MPI paints a detailed picture of poverty for 101 countries and 1,119 subnational regions covering 76% of the global population, going beyond simple income-based measures to look at how people experience poverty every day,” a UNDP press release said.
According to the 2009 MPI: “Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to the largest proportion of multidimensionally poor people (84.5% of all multidimensionally poor people live in these two regions), but the incidence of multidimensional poverty various enormously across countries.”
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, it goes from 6.3% in South Africa to 91.9% in South Sudan. In South Asia, it ranges from 0.8% in the Maldives to 55.9% in Afghanistan.”