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Over 420 million poor live in eight Indian States

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:21:38 AM, Agencies

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New Delhi: Shockingly eight Indian States – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – have 421 million poor people which is more 11 million than the 26 poorest African countries combined.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was developed and applied by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) with UNDP support and will feature in the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Report due late October.

The MPI, which supplants the Human Poverty Index, assesses a range of critical factors or ‘‘ deprivations’ ’ at the household level: from education to health outcomes to assets and services.

An analysis by MPI creators reveals that there are more ‘MPI poor’ people in eight Indian states (42.1 crore in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh , Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) than in the 26 poorest African countries combined (41 crore).

Factors such as education, health outcomes, assets and services are measured as “deprivations” in each of the households to draw the complete picture of acute poverty at regional, national and global levels.

In an earlier estimate, released last year, an expert group had reported that “every third Indian is living below poverty line” in India. Among the states housing the most number of poor were Orissa and Bihar while in Nagaland, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, the number of poor is the least.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index is meant to provide a “multidimensional picture” of the populations living in poverty across the world. It is in addition to the Human Poverty Index, which was included for the first time in the annual Human Development Reports of the United Nation in 1997.

In fact, according to the new measure that includes key services such as water, sanitation and electricity, half of the world’s poor live in South Asia (51% or 84.4 crore) and one quarter in Africa (28% or 45.8 crore).

Niger has the greatest intensity and incidence of poverty in any country, with 93% of its population classified as poor in MPI terms.








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