The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says the number of Nigerians, who are multi-dimensionally poor, has increased from 86 million to 98 million in the past decade up to 2017.
A statement by Mr. Lucky Musonda, UNDP’s Communications Specialist, Head of Communication Unit on Thursday also posited that the figures are part of a recent Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report put together by UNDP.
Multidimensional poverty refers to various deprivations experienced by poor people in their daily lives – such as poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, the threat of violence, and living in areas that are environmentally hazardous, among others.
According to him, the 2019 global MPI report reveals that in Nigeria the proportion of people who are multidimensionally poor has remained constant at just over 50 per cent over the past decade up to 2017.
“Important to note from the report is that when compared to the national poverty line which measure income over consumption, a larger proportion of Nigerians that is 51 per cent are multidimensionally poor than those that are income poor which constitute 46 per cent.
“For instance, in Nigeria, even though the national average shows that around 50 per cent of Nigerians are multidimensionally poor, state and local government levels will reveal a completely different scenario.
“This year’s MPI results show that of the 1.3 billion people who are multidimensionally poor, more than two-thirds of them which is 886 million people live in middle-income countries while 440 million live in low-income countries.
“In both groups, data showed that simple national averages can hide enormous inequality in patterns of poverty within countries,” he said.
The report added that the traditional concept of poverty was outdated, according to a new report released by UNDP and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
It stated that new data demonstrates more clearly than ever that labeling countries or even households as rich and poor was an oversimplification.
According to the report, findings from the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) sheds light on disparities on how people experience poverty, revealing vast inequalities among countries and among the poor themselves.
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, was quoted as saying: “To fight poverty, one needs to know where poor people live. They are not evenly spread across a country, not even within a household.
“The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index provides the detailed information that policy makers need to more effectively target their policies.”
The report stated that MPI goes beyond income as the sole indicator for poverty, by exploring the ways in which people experience poverty in their health, education, and standard of living.
“There is also inequality among the poor. Findings of the 2019 global MPI also paint a detailed picture of the many differences on how and how deeply people experience poverty.
“Deprivations among the poor vary enormously, in general higher MPI values go hand in hand with greater variation in the intensity of poverty,” it said.
The report shows that children suffer poverty more intensely than adults and are more likely to be deprived in all 10 of the MPI indicators, lacking essentials such as clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education.
It stated that worldwide, one in three children was multidimensionally poor, compared to one in six adults, adding that nearly half of the people living in multidimensional povert which is 663 million are children, with the youngest children bearing the greatest burden.
The report in a new data showed a positive trend.
“We looked at data for a group of 10 middle and low-income countries and we found encouraging news that 40 per cent were moving faster than the rest.
“Within these 10 countries, data showed that 270 million people moved out of multidimensional poverty from one survey to the next.
“This progress was largely driven by South Asia, in India there were 271 million people in poverty in 2016 than in 2006, while in Bangladesh the number dropped by 19 million between 2004 and 2014.
“In other countries there was less or no absolute reduction, with numbers of multi-dimensionally poor rising by 28 million across the three African countries considered.
“In part this was because of rapid population growth, which outstripped reductions in poverty, poverty rates as a percentage of the population declined in most of the countries” it said.
The 2019 global MPI paints a detailed picture of poverty for 101 countries and 1,119 subnational regions covering 76 per cent of the global population.