DHAKA, Bangladesh – Bangladesh is set to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal to alleviate poverty by 2015, two years ahead of schedule.
The World Bank has concluded that Bangladesh has achieved enormous reduction of poverty within the past decade. Based on the World Bank’s report, ‘Bangladesh Poverty Assessment’, poverty in Bangladesh has declined from 63 million in 2000 to 47 million in 2010. Within a decade, Bangladesh has lifted 16 million people out of poverty.
What these numbers show is that, despite having a growing population, Bangladesh has seen a decline in poverty of 26% in the last 10 years. This means that there has been a 1.7% decreases each year.
At this rate, by 2015, the poverty rate in Bangladesh will actually be 2% lower than the original goal of 26%.
Other related good news incudes a rise in both incomes of non-institutional sectors and an increase in electricity coverage. The report stated that income in sectors like agriculture and small transportation, such as rickshaw driving, has gained 10% each year. Additionally, the percentage of poor individuals who have electric connections has grown to 28.5% since 2000 when only 10% of the poorest population had electricity. This statistic is viewable in the fact that now 36.3% of poor used mobile phones in 2010 compared to zero percent in 2000.
Bangladesh has been able to tackle poverty on a large-scale despite a series of external shocks that affected the nation in 2007 and 2008. During the period between 2000 and 2010, Bangladesh’s poverty reduction has been linked to growth in labor income and demographic change. While rural wages have escalated in recent years. A drop in fertility has also allowed for more income per capita.
Despite large reductions in poverty, Bangladesh continues to battle poverty with around 47 million people still living in poverty and 26 million in extreme poverty. Nevertheless, the hopeful story of Bangladesh has proved indeed that Millennium Development Goals are achievable.