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Major Poverty Discrepancy Worldwide

A new report released by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) claims that according to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index, 1.6 billion people are living in multidimensional poverty — which is 400 million more people than had been formerly reported.

The World Bank has recently changed its method of measuring the extent to which people are impacted by poverty by shifting to a more comprehensive method that includes various categories beyond strictly listing whether income is less than $1.25 a day.

The index operates by assessing over 100 countries and weighs the extent to which individuals are deprived of basic necessities in three major categories: education, health and living standards, depicted in this chart. These categories are then divided further: health into nutrition and child mortality; education into years of schooling and school attendance; and living standards into sanitation, water, electricity, floor, cooking fuel and assets. If an individual is deprived of a third or more of these basic necessities, they are considered to be “MPI poor.”

As noted by the index, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the most impoverished regions on the globe, and are respectively comprised of 29 percent and 52 percent of the overall 1.6 billion people in poverty.

In India, while 28.5 percent of the population is classified as “destitute,” from 1999 to 2006 the MPI for the country as a whole dropped by 1.2 percentage points. Moreover, in Nepal, with an improvement in both nutrition and child mortality rates, the percentage of residents in poverty dropped from 65 percent to 44 percent in a five-year time span.

With this relatively new way to measure poverty, although the statistics are alarming, the specificity of the method allows organizations to better target and combat the various components that contribute to an impoverished existence. Measuring aspects of livelihood besides income creates a more complete picture of what needs to be done to improve overall quality of life for individuals around the world.

— Jordyn Horowitz

Sources: Huffington Post, OPHI, World Bank 1, World Bank 2
Photo: Kamla Jetly Trust