Poverty rate increases in Pakistan from 38.6pc to 39.5pc in five years: PIDE

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics says 70pc people in Balochistan, 48pc in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 45pc in Sindh, and 30pc in Punjab are suffering from poverty.

ISLAMABAD   -   The poverty rate in the country has reached 39.5 percent, according to Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

It said 70 percent of people in Balochistan, 48 percent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 45 percent in Sindh, and 30 percent in Punjab are suffering from poverty. Rural areas have recorded higher poverty rates than urban areas across the country, PIDE research report suggests. Poverty rate in rural areas was recorded as high as 51 percent while poverty rate in urban areas was recorded as high as 17 percent, said the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics report. The report further said that 26.5 percent of the population lacks living facilities, 49.4 percent educational facilities, and 24.1 percent people are deprived of health facilities. The highest poverty rate in Pakistan was recorded in Balochistan province, according to the PIDE research report.

Recent PIDE estimates show that 39.5 percent of the population is identified as multidimensional poor. The average intensity of deprivation which reflects the share of deprivation each person experiences on average is 48.3 percent. In other words, each multidimensionally poor person in Pakistan on average is deprived of nearly half of the 15 weighted indicators used for Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) calculations. Pakistan’s national MPI, which is the product of the percentage of poor people and the average intensity of poverty, stands at 0.191 This indicates that poor people in Pakistan experience 19.1 percent of the deprivations that would be experienced if all people were deprived in all indicators.

Among the four provinces of Pakistan, multidimensional poverty is highest in Balochistan. According to the data 70 percent of the population in Balochistan is identified as multidimensionally poor. This is followed by 48 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 45 percent in Sindh. Punjab has the lowest incidence (headcount ratio) of multidimensional poverty in the country. With 30 percent of its population identified as poor, it is the only province that has a lower headcount ratio than the national average of 39.1 percent. Except for Sindh, multidimensional poverty has decreased in the provinces. For instance, in Balochistan the headcount ratio has dropped from 72.4 percent in 2014-15 to 70.5 percent in 2019-20, in KP from 49.1 percent to 48.8 percent while in Punjab the share of multidimensional poor decreased from 31.0 percent to 30.4 percent. In Sindh, however, the headcount ratio increased from 43.1 percent in 2014-15 to 45.2 percent in 2019-20, the PIDE report said.

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