Bangladesh lifts about 8 mln people out of poverty in 7 yrs: World Bank report

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DHAKA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — Bangladesh has lifted about 8 million people out of poverty over the past seven years, showed a World Bank report released here Monday.

It said Bangladesh has progressed significantly in reducing poverty and improving living conditions, mostly driven by labor income.

“Between 2010-2016, about 8 million Bangladeshi exited poverty,” revealed the report titled “Bangladesh Poverty Assessment.”

“The progress that Bangladesh has made in reducing poverty in the last decade is remarkable,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

During the same period, according to the bank, rural areas accounted for about 90 percent of the poverty reduction in the country. There was little poverty reduction in urban areas and the share of urban people living in extreme poverty remained the same. This has slowed the national progress in poverty reduction.

Industry and services, not agriculture, mostly led poverty reduction in rural areas. Agriculture growth was slower and less poverty reducing than before. In urban areas, manufacturing, in particular the garments sector, led the poverty reduction.

“The report highlights that traditional drivers of poverty played a role, but also notes the limits of some of these drivers in bringing about progress,” said Maria Eugenia Genoni, World Bank senior economist and report co-author.

“Further, to achieve its vision of upper middle-income country by next decade, Bangladesh can build on its own experience of innovative policy experimentation to tackle poverty in a more sophisticated and urbanized economy.”

Since the country is facing new and re-emerging frontiers of poverty reduction, that is urban poverty and a re-emerging east-west divide, the report advocates that by adopting traditional and fresh solutions, Bangladesh can reduce poverty faster.

AHM Mustafa Kamal, Bangladeshi minister of Finance, was the chief guest at the report launching event, where policy makers, civil society, private sector and media representatives joined.

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