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UN Report – ‘India lifted 415 million people out of Poverty, In just 15 years’

United Nations, July 11:  United Nations (UN) on Tuesday announced that India has achieved a significant reduction in poverty, with a staggering 415 million individuals successfully emerging from poverty within a just 15-year span.

The latest update of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), released by the UNDP and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), highlights the success of 25 countries, including India, in halving their global MPI values within 15 years.

This accomplishment demonstrates that rapid progress in poverty reduction is attainable.

India’s extraordinary journey is showcased in the report, surpassing China in April to become the world’s most populous nation, with a population of 1.4286 billion, according to UN data.

Between 2005-06 and 2019-21, India witnessed a significant decrease in poverty incidence, plummeting from 55.1% to 16.4%, resulting in 415 million people escaping poverty.

The report highlights the decline in deprivation across all MPI indicators in India, with the fastest progress observed among the poorest states and marginalized groups, including children and disadvantaged caste communities.

Prominently, the percentage of people experiencing multidimensional poverty and deprivation of nutrition reduced from 44.3% in 2005-06 to 11.8% in 2019-21.

Additionally, child mortality witnessed a decline from 4.5% to 1.5%.

The report also indicates a substantial reduction in the percentage of people who are poor and deprived of essential resources such as cooking fuel (from 52.9% to 13.9%) and sanitation (from 50.4% in 2005-06 to 11.3% in 2019-21).

India’s success is a result of targeted efforts made by succeeding governments to execute numerous poverty alleviation programmes that targeted diverse aspects of poverty, such as income, food supply, nutritional needs, health, education, housing, sanitation, employment, and capacity building.

Global Scenario

The report highlights that despite such significant achievement, over 18% of the global population (around 1.1 billion people) still live in acute multidimensional poverty, across 110 countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are home to the majority of the world’s poor population.

At a global level, Children under the age of 18 represent half of the MPI-poor population, with a poverty rate of 27.7% among children as compared to 13.4% among adults.

The report stresses the urgent need to address child poverty, particularly concerning education and undernutrition.

Pedro Conceiço, Director of the Human Development Report Office, emphasises on strengthening data collection and policy interventions to regain momentum in poverty reduction as we approach the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The full global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty reduction remain to be measured.

Sabina Alkire, Director of OPHI at the University of Oxford, expresses concern over the scarcity of data on multidimensional poverty and calls for breakthroughs in poverty data collection.

The global MPI sheds light on how people experience poverty in all facets of their lives, serving as a crucial instrument for tracking poverty reduction and directing policy decisions.

It provides insights into education, health, and living standards, encompassing housing, drinking water, sanitation, and electricity.

India’s achievement in lifting 415 million people out of poverty in just 15 years showcases the progress that can be made and inspires hope for further advancements in the global fight against poverty.

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