By: Amanda Froelich,
Could the seemingly endless efforts to eradicate world hunger and provide care to the world’s populace finally yield the optimistic outcome so long sought after? According to a recent study, it is believed world poverty may be eliminated in 20 years, completely eliminating the third world crisis which currently affects over 1.6 billion individuals.
A study presented by Oxford University presented the results that poverty is shrinking worldwide and developing countries are becoming less poor. This positive 22-country study included such countries as Rwanda, Nepal, and Bangladesh, these three showing the most improvement. Carried out by Oxford University and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), other countries Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia, and Bolivia also followed suit with positive results.
The report suggests that some of the poorest countries in the world could see acute poverty eliminated within the next 20 years.
Poverty was measured by the department using a new term called the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI. This measures the intensity of different deprivations that poor people face including nutrition, education, and sanitation – and not just income.
According to the measurement tool, if people are derived in a third or more of ten indicators, the global index identifies them as ‘MPI poor’.
Scientists Dr. Sabina Alkire and Dr. Jose Manuel Roche conducted the study. Dr. Ailkire said: “Using this measure, we found that reductions in intensity – the percentage of deprivations people experience at the same time – were strongest in relatively poorer countries, such as Ethiopia, Malawi, and Senegal.”
The results indicate that in some countries, if progress continues at the same rate, current generations may see the end of the acute multidimensional poverty.
The best example – using the ‘star performers’ of the study, Nepal, Rwanda, and Bangladesh – show that if poverty is continued to be reduced at the same rate, they will have MPI in less than 10 years and eradicate it in 20. Unfortunately not all countries have such positive forecast.
“At the current rate of reduction, it will take Ethiopia 45 years to halve multidimensional poverty; in other words, to achieve poverty levels equivalent to those in Nigeria has now,” OPHI’s Dr. Jose Manuel Roche shared.
“Based on the same assumptions, it will take India 41 years and Malawi 71 years to eradicate acute poverty as measured by the MPI. However unfortunate the scenario is painted, Dr. Jose continued, “But we hope that by providing a more complete and balanced picture, these measures will help spur the eradication of multidimensional poverty”. General awareness, understanding, and empathy from individuals all around the world will continue to feed the fire for change.
The study recorded the various results in differing countries: Nepal did best in areas such as nutrition, child mortality, electricity, improved flooring and assets, while Rwanda showed the biggest improvement in sanitation and water. Bangladesh did best in improving sanitation and school attendance.
Using the MPI which can be broken down to reveal the varying rates of progress, different regions of a country and different social groups can be analyzed. For example, in Nepal, although it had an outstanding overall performance, three of the 13 regions lagged behind the rest of the country, with no statistically significant reduction in MPI poverty.
In contrast, Rwanda and Bangladesh achieved significant reductions in both the scale and intensity of multidimensional poverty in every one of their regions. “This ability of the MPI to reveal inequalities at a regional level, as well as between social groups, makes it vital tool for policy makers,” confirmed Dr. Suman Seth, one of OPHI’s research team.
“The global MPI allows us to compare people’s poverty and see in what ways they are deprived, in order to address these interconnected deprivations and target interventions more accurately.”
The release of the report on changes in poverty over time follows the publication of the MPI in the UN development Programme’s Human Development Report in 2013.
It was found by OPHI in 2013 that a total of 1.6 billion people are living in multidimensional poverty – more than 30 percent of the combined population of the countries analyzed. To finally have research tracking overlapping deprivations in health, education, and living standards is no doubt a positive advancement which will better allow support to be lent to poverty-stricken areas.
On an individual level, one’s focus to maintain a low carbon footprint, utilize all food scraps, and create awareness of the world’s many ails will only continue to add to the support pushing positive change.