Bhutan us­ing MPI as an of­fi­cial mea­sure for poverty: PM

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

The Prime Min­is­ter at­tended the open­ing of the 72nd UN Gen­eral Assem­bly last Wed­nes­day.

On the side­lines of the UNGA, Prime Min­is­ter par­tic­i­pated at the Mul­tidi­men­sional Poverty Peer Network event.

Ad­dress­ing the event, Prime Min­is­ter in­formed the gath­er­ing that us­ing the Mul­tidi­men­sional Poverty In­dex ( MPI) to track progress on the SDGs is not just use­ful but critical.

He said that “in Bhutan, we have al­ways ap­proached devel­op­ment from a holis­tic per­spec­tive based on GNH which is con­sis­tent with the 2030 agenda.”

“Un­der that broad devel­op­ment frame­work, Bhutan has been us­ing the na­tional Mul­tidi­men­sional Poverty In­dex for the past seven years as an of­fi­cial mea­sure of poverty to as­sess the needs of our peo­ple and to for­mu­late ap­pro­pri­ate poli­cies and ef­fec­tive in­ter­ven­tions”.

He em­pha­sized that much of Bhutan’s suc­cess in our ef­forts on poverty re­duc­tion has been achieved due to our strong so­cial devel­op­ment poli­cies.

“Ed­u­ca­tion and health care is free and we in­vest heav­ily on sus­tain­able ru­ral devel­op­ment. For this, lo­cal gov­ern­ments have been strength­ened.”

The Prime Min­is­ter in­formed that Bhutan has brought down the poverty rate by 50 per­cent within a short span of time and that Bhutan has set the tar­get of re­duc­ing MPI to less than 10 per­cent by 2018.

Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay stressed that in the era of SDGs, when the quest is for trans­for­ma­tional change and shared pros­per­ity, UN sys­tems needs com­pre­hen­sive tools and frame­work that help the na­tion coun­tries iden­tify the most vul­ner­a­ble and poor­est so that they are not left be­hind.

“But we need to make sure that we con­tin­u­ously mea­sure our progress.” He added.

He con­cluded that the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive frame­work and the MPI help the mem­ber coun­tries to mea­sure and man­age our ef­forts to en­sure that the coun­tries are on the right path to­wards poverty erad­i­ca­tion and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

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