Bhutan cuts mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty by half but higher for chil­dren un­der nine

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Sonam Pen­jor

In the last five years, Bhutan cuts mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty by half, how­ever, the in­ci­dence of mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty is higher for chil­dren un­der nine with 7.2 per­cent, fol­lowed by adults 50 years or older with 6.5 per­cent and in­di­vid­u­als aged 36 to 49 years with 6.1 per­cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bhutan Mul­ti­di­men­sional Poverty In­dex (MPI) 2017 re­port stated that the Bhutan’s MPI has the 13 in­di­ca­tors, a per­son who is de­prived in 4/13 of the weighted in­di­ca­tors with 30.7 per­cent of di­men­sions is con­sid­ered mul­ti­di­men­sional poor.

Be­tween 2012 and 2017, Bhutan’s MPI was dropped from 0.051 to 0.023. Cur­rently, 5.8 per­cent of the Bhutanese pop­u­la­tions are mul­ti­di­men­sional poor, against 12.7 per­cent five years ago.

The Bhutan’s MPI 13 in­di­ca­tors in­clude food se­cu­rity, low ed­u­ca­tion and in­ad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion, dis­trib­uted across three di­men­sions: health, ed­u­ca­tion and stan­dard of liv­ing.

Among the 13 MPI

in­di­ca­tors, the largest con­trib­u­tors to the na­tional poverty in Bhutan are de­pri­va­tion in years of ed­u­ca­tion with 32 per­cent, fol­lowed by child mor­tal­ity with 23 per­cent and school at­ten­dance with 13 per­cent, the re­port stated.

While the liv­ing stan­dards and health di­men­sions con­trib­ute to 21 per­cent and 34 per­cent, re­spec­tively to over­all poverty.

Na­tional Sta­tis­tics Bu­reau (NSB), Di­rec­tor Ch­hime Tsh­er­ing said that over­all, the 2017 MPI paints a pic­ture of light­ning- fast progress, with MPI re­duc­ing by far more than half from 2007 to 2017 and by roughly half since 2012, with ru­ral ar­eas pro­gress­ing rapidly.

The press re­lease from the NSB stated that the MPI com­ple­ments in­come mea­sures, pro­vid­ing an in-depth pic­ture of poverty, which helps gov­ern­ment to de­velop and im­ple­ment ef­fi­cient pub­lic poli­cies.

The re­port also shows the poverty level by the ar­eas of ru­ral and ur­ban which shows that the ru­ral poverty head­count ra­tio is much higher than that for ur­ban ar­eas with 8.1 per­cent and 1.2 per­cent re­spec­tively and more than 93 per­cent of the mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty lives in ru­ral ar­eas. How­ever, 6.9 per­cent of the coun­try’s mul­ti­di­men­sional poor peo­ple re­side in ur­ban ar­eas.

In terms of di­men­sions, ed­u­ca­tion is clearly the largest con­trib­u­tor to mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty in ur­ban ar­eas with con­tri­bu­tion of 51.8 per­cent. The di­men­sions of health and liv­ing stan­dards con­trib­ute 44.2 per­cent and 3.9 re­spec­tively.

Mean­while, to cal­cu­late the MPI, the au­thor used data from the 2017 Bhutan Liv­ing Stan­dard Sur­vey. This could pro­vide an up-to-date na­tional head­line.

MPI for the Dzongkhag wise, Gasa Dzongkhag has the high­est level of MPI and in­ci­dence of poverty, and Samtse Dzongkhag houses the largest num­ber of mul­ti­di­men­sional poor with 13.7 per­cent fol­lowed by Ch­hukha with 12.5 per­cent, stated the re­port.

While, Thim­phu Dzongkhag houses with eight per­cent of Bhutan’s poor peo­ple and Pema­gat­shel Dzongkhag has the low­est share of poor peo­ple in the coun­try with 1.2 per­cent.

The re­port shows that about two thirds of Bhutan’s pop­u­la­tion lives in ru­ral ar­eas.

Min­is­ter for Health, Ly­onpo Tandin Wangchuk who launched the Bhutan MPI 2017 on 29 De­cem­ber, said that re­duc­ing MPI is the main ob­jec­tive of the gov­ern­ment for the 11th Five Year Plan.

Ly­onpo added that tar­get 1.2 of the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goal calls all coun­tries to cut out their na­tional MPI rates by half be­tween 2015 and 2030.

Di­rec­tor for Ox­ford Poverty and Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive (OPHI) Dr. Sabina Alkire said Bhutan’s strides in fight­ing mul­ti­di­men­sional poverty are in­spir­ing. “By re­duc­ing MPI by much more than half from 2007 to 2017, Bhutan has shown that rapid change is pos­si­ble. For those coun­tries who are try­ing to meet the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal tar­get of halv­ing MPI by na­tional def­i­ni­tions be­tween 2015 and 2030, Bhutan’s ex­am­ple will be en­cour­ag­ing.”

Mean­while, Bhutan MPI 2017 was pre­pared by NSB, with fi­nan­cially sup­ported by the UNICEF coun­try of­fice in Bhutan and OPHI worked on the re­port while MPI is based on the data from the Bhutan Stan­dard Liv­ing Sur­vey 2017 con­ducted by the NSB.

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