Obituaries

Ethiopia named World’s second poorest country

EthiopiaAccording to a new index developed by Oxford University and the UN, Ethiopia under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is ranked the second poorest country on earth.

The new measurement known as the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, will replace the Human Poverty Index in the United Nations’ annual Human Development Report. The new report says Ethiopia has the second highest percentage of people who are MPI poor in the world, with only the west African nation of Niger fairing worse. This comes as more international analysts have also begun to question the accuracy of the Meles government’s double-digit economic growth claims and similar disputed government statistics referred by institutions like the IMF.

In 2009, the percentage of Ethiopians who are in chronic need of food aid tripled to nearly 20 percent of the population compared to 1990 when the country was ruled by the pro-Soviet communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Despite the reportedly worsening economic and political situation in a country where the top opposition leader Judge Birtukan Mideksa remains in prison, the Zenawi government continues to receive billions in aid from the US and other western nations.

10 POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

1. Niger
2. Ethiopia
3. Mali
4. Burkina Faso
5. Burundi
6. Somalia
7. Central African Republic
8. Liberia
9. Guinea
10. Sierra Leone

Multidimensional Poverty Index

OPHI and the UNDP Human Development Report launch the Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI – an innovative new measure that gives a vivid “multidimensional” picture of people living in poverty. The MPI will be featured in the 20th Anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Report and complements income by reflecting a range of deprivations that afflict a person’s life at the same time. The measure assesses the nature and intensity of poverty at the individual level in education, health outcomes, and standard of living. OPHI has just concluded a first ever estimate and analysis of global multidimensional poverty across 104 developing countries, and is releasing these results in advance of the Report’s October publication.


What is the MPI?

The lives of people living in poverty are affected by more than just their income. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) complements a traditional focus on income to reflect the deprivations that a poor person faces all at once with respect to education, health and living standard. It assesses poverty at the individual level, with poor persons being those who are multiply deprived, and the extent of their poverty being measured by the range of their deprivations.

The MPI can be used to create a vivid picture of people living in poverty, both across countries, regions and the world and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, or other key household characteristics. It is the first international measure of its kind, and offers an essential complement to income poverty measures because it measures deprivations directly. The MPI can be used as an analytical tool to identify the most vulnerable people, show aspects in which they are deprived and help to reveal the interconnections among deprivations. This enables policy makers to target resources and design policies more effectively. Other dimensions of interest, such as work, safety, and empowerment, could be incorporated into the MPI in the future as data become available.

The MPI reports acute poverty for 104 developing countries, which are home to 78% of the world’s people.


What does the MPI measure?

The MPI uses 10 indicators to measure three critical dimensions of poverty at the household level: education, health and living standard in 104 developing countries. These directly measured deprivations in health and educational outcomes as well as key services such as water, sanitation, and electricity reveal not only how many people are poor but also the composition of their poverty. The MPI also reflects the intensity of poverty – the sum of weighted deprivations that each household faces at the same time. A person who is deprived in 70% of the indicators is clearly worse off than someone who is deprived in 40% of the indicators.
Why is the MPI useful?

The MPI is a high resolution lens on poverty – it shows the nature of poverty better than income alone. Knowing not just who is poor but how they are poor is essential for effective human development programs and policies. This straightforward yet rigorous index allows governments and other policymakers to understand the various sources of poverty for a region, population group, or nation and target their human development plans accordingly. The index can also be used to show shifts in the composition of poverty over time so that progress, or the lack of it, can be monitored.

The MPI goes beyond previous international measures of poverty to:

* Show all the deprivations that impact someone’s life at the same time – so it can inform a holistic response.

* Identify the poorest people. Such information is vital to target people living in poverty so they benefit from key interventions.

* Show which deprivations are most common in different regions and among different groups, so that resources can be allocated and policies designed to address their particular needs.

* Reflect the results of effective policy interventions quickly. Because the MPI measures outcomes directly, it will immediately reflect changes such as school enrolment, whereas it can take time for this to affect income.

* Integrate many different aspects of poverty related to the MDGs into a single measure, reflecting interconnections among deprivations and helping to identify poverty traps.

MPI Interactive map


Source: Jimma Times

A detailed Country Briefing : http://www.ophi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Ethiopia.pdf

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