Tag Archives: 2013

Bangladesh Reduced Number of Poor by 16 million in a Decade

Source: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/06/20/bangladesh-reduced-number-of-poor-by-16-million-in-a-decade




Bangladesh Reduced Number of Poor by 16 million in a Decade

June 20, 2013


DHAKA, June 20, 2013: Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty from 2000 to 2010. The country witnessed steady and continuous decline in the number of poor people over the decade—from nearly 63 million in 2000 to 47 million in 2010. Despite a growing population, the number of poor people declined by 26 percent in 10 years. Poverty declined by 1.7 percentage points per year. The series of external shocks that affected Bangladesh in 2007 and 2008 did not significantly slow down the speed of poverty reduction.

A new World Bank report ‘Bangladesh Poverty Assessment: Assessing a Decade of Progress in Reducing Poverty, 2000-2010’ launched today says during the period 2000-2010 poverty reduction was closely linked to the growth in labor income and changes in demographics. Labor income, both formal and informal, was the dominant factor in higher incomes and lower poverty rates. Fertility rates have been steadily dropping over the last several decades which have resulted in lower dependency ratios and more income per-capita.  The second half of the 2000s saw an escalation of real rural wages but the growth of urban real wages was lackluster.

Against the odds, Bangladesh lifted 16 million people out of poverty in the last 10 years and also reduced inequality; that is a rare and remarkable achievement.’ said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh.Bangladesh now needs to help a growing population of young adults to obtain the skills and education needed to find productive work and to participate fully in Bangladesh’s social and political life. The World Bank remains committed to working with the Government to help all Bangladeshis escape poverty and share in the country’s growing prosperity.”

The living conditions of the poor also improved in the first decade of 2000. Between 2000 and 2005, a large number of households saw an improvement in terms of the materials used in the constructions of their homes and access to services. Between 2005 and 2010, while the poor continued to improve the quality of their homes, the largest improvements for all households were in terms of the amenities households owned such as television sets and cellular phones.

While overall improvement in wellbeing can seen across all regions, poverty continues to be a daunting problem with about 47 million people still living in poverty and 26 million people in extreme poverty. Poverty in rural areas continues to be more pervasive and extreme than in urban areas, whereas urban areas remain relatively more unequal.

For sustained poverty reduction, Bangladesh needs coordinated multi-sectoral action. To maintain steady growth in income, it will be necessary to promote investments to raise agricultural productivity and also to promote more jobs in manufacturing and service sector.” said Dean Jolliffe, Senior Economist, World Bank and co-author of the report.

From 2000 to 2005, the East (Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet) was rapidly improving, while the West (Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi) had been lagging behind. The poverty pattern changed in the next five years. Between 2005 and 2010, Western divisions experienced larger reductions in poverty and also managed to reach levels of poverty that are closer to those of their Eastern counterparts.

A growing share of women in the labor force contributed to poverty reduction, but further increasing their participation remains a challenge. The labor force participation rate of women, though increased from 25 percent to about 35 percent over the decade, still remains low by international standards.

Bangladesh spends over 2 percent of its GDP on safety net programs but reaches only a third of the poor. Bangladesh needs to focus on improving the linkage between safety nets and poverty reduction through improved design, targeting and timing of safety net responses. For example, the large number of cash allowances could be linked to human capital formation and targeted to the poor. ” said Iffath Sharif, Senior Economist, World Bank and co-author of the report.

Message by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, on World Environment Day 2013

Message by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, on World Environment Day 2013 Wed, Jun 5, 2013

One way to narrow the hunger gap and improve the well-being of the most vulnerable is to address the massive loss and waste inherent in today’s food systems

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“Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint”5 June 2013 – We live in a world of plenty, where food production outstrips demand, yet 870 million people are undernourished and childhood stunting is a silent pandemic. To create the future we want, we must correct this inequity. We must ensure access to adequate nutrition for all, double the productivity of smallholder farmers who grow the bulk of food in the developing world, and make food systems sustainable in the face of environmental and economic shocks. This is the vision of my Zero Hunger Challenge, launched last year at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

One way to narrow the hunger gap and improve the well-being of the most vulnerable is to address the massive loss and waste inherent in today’s food systems. Currently at least one third of all food produced fails to make it from farm to table. This is foremost an affront to the hungry, but it also represents a massive environmental cost in terms of energy, land and water.

In developing countries, pests, inadequate storage facilities and inefficient supply chains are major contributors to food loss. Those who grow for export are also often at the mercy of over-stringent expectations of buyers who place a premium on cosmetic perfection. In developed nations, food thrown away by households and the retail and catering industries rots in landfills, releasing significant quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Food loss and waste is something we can all address. That is why the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and public and private sector partners have launched the “Think.Eat.Save: Reduce Your Foodprint” campaign to raise global awareness and showcase solutions relevant to developed and developing countries alike.

Infrastructure and technology can reduce the amount of food that perishes after it is harvested and before it reaches the market. Developing country governments can work to improve essential infrastructure and maximize trade opportunities with neighbours; developed nations can support fair trade and rationalize sell-by dates and other labelling systems; businesses can revise their criteria for rejecting produce; and consumers can minimize waste by buying only what they need and re-using left-over food.

On this World Environment Day, I urge all actors in the global food chain to take responsibility for environmentally sustainable and socially equitable food systems. The current global population of seven billion is expected to grow to nine billion by 2050. But the number of hungry people need not increase. By reducing food waste, we can save money and resources, minimize environmental impacts and, most importantly, move towards a world where everyone has enough to eat.


(The message has been taken from the website of United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) for further dissemination.

The original message may be read at the following link:http://unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2722&ArticleID=9529&l=en)