The Pandemic Threatens Progress in Reducing Poverty

The Pandemic Threatens Progress in Reducing Poverty
19 July 2020 | 04:40

The UNDP released a new global report. According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (IPM), there was progress in fighting poverty before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the countries. Now, this progress is in jeopardy.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Oxford Initiative on Poverty and Human Development (OPHI) data show that 65 out of 75 countries surveyed have significantly reduced their level of multidimensional poverty between 2000 and 2019.

“COVID-19 has a profound impact on development. All these pre-pandemic data are a message of hope. Past success stories about how to reduce poverty show us how we can recover and improve the lives of millions of people now,” said Sabina Alkire, Director of OPHI at Oxford University.

Addressing Multidimensional Poverty in a Post-COVID-19 World

No data are available to measure the increase in global multidimensional poverty after the pandemic. However, simulations for 70 developing countries suggest how the impact of the crisis could be great if it is not fought. The simulation was based on the anticipated impact of the virus on nutrition, and school attendance, two components of global ISM.

The experts simulated three scenarios, revealing that 25 percent and 50 percent of people, who are multidimensional poor or vulnerable become malnourished, and half of the children with primary school age no longer attend school. Under these conditions, the level of poverty could fall back as it was eight to ten years ago.

“COVID-19 is the latest crisis to hit the world, and climate change only anticipates other crises. Each of them will affect the poor in many ways. More than ever, we must work to fight poverty and help people vulnerable to poverty. That is why the Multidimensional Poverty Index is so important,” said Pedro Conçeicão, Director of the UNDP Office for Human Development.

Moldova, Marked by Urban-Rural Disparities

According to the latest available data from 2012, Moldova scored 0.004 in the IPM. Moldova is labeled as one of the poorest countries in the region, with inequalities between urban and rural areas in access to education and services.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova, the absolute poverty rate was 23 percent in 2018, down 4.7 percentage points compared to 2017.  At the same time, the extreme poverty rate was 8.7 percent.

UNDP Moldova supports the National Bureau of Statistics to produce a local IPM, which will be launched soon, and which takes into account the country’s context and the particularities of the dimensions of poverty in Moldova.

The COVID-19 crisis progresses. The negative effects on multiple dimensions are also amplifying, especially for vulnerable groups.

UNDP Moldova is conducting a thorough assessment of the socio-economic impact of the crisis on behalf of the UN Country Team in Moldova, which will radiograph the vulnerabilities.

Addressing each challenge requires complex solutions that aim to increase revenue growth. This UNDP’s work encourages societies to seize the opportunity and rethink development and rebuild more sustainably in the post-COVID era.

AUTHOR MAIL

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