Poverty overall decreases in Pakistan. Islamabad: Poverty in Punjab has declined significantly over the past two decades, with the population living below the poverty line in 1998-99 falling from 61.8% to 16.3% in 2018-19. Balochistan took first place in 2018-19 with 40% of the population living in poverty, but in 1998-99, 20 years ago, KP took the lead with 71% of the population trapped in poverty.
This provincial poverty estimate was calculated by economists at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), affiliated research and degree-granting institution of the Pakistan Planning Commission. According to the poverty analysis, Balochistan was at the bottom of poverty in 1998-99 of the four coalition units with 55.9% of the population living below the poverty line.
Poverty at the national level was 61.6% in 1998-99 compared to 61.8% in Punjab, 57% in Sindh, 71% in KP, and 55.9% in Balochistan.
Poverty at the national level in late 2018-19 was 21.5%, estimated at 16.3% in Punjab, 24.6% in Sindh, 27% in KP, and 40.7% in Balochistan. In the knowledge brief, PIDE said that the provincial estimates somehow provide a clear picture of poverty across Pakistan at the local level. nIn 1998-99, poverty was observed to be highest in the KPK province at 71% and lowest in Balochistan at 55.9%, but this trend was reversed with the lowest poverty rate recorded in 2018-19, 16.3%.
It was the highest in Balochistan at 40.7% in Punjab. Many factors contribute to Balochistan’s very high levels of poverty, which can be attributed to high levels of income inequality and low employment opportunities. The headcount index measures the proportion of the poor population but does not represent the poor in the poor.
Thus, poverty situations defined through different poverty slabs have a very serious impact on policy as they group people into different poverty slabs and thus benefit the targeted policy initiatives of these groups. The five categories of poverty defined for this study are the extreme poor at 50% or below the poverty line, the extreme poor at between 50 and 75% of the poverty line, and the vulnerable poor at 100 to 125% of the poverty line.
The poverty line, semi-poverty: more than 125% but less than 200% of the poverty line, and finally more than 200% of the poverty line, rain. The graph shows that the rate of extreme poverty has decreased significantly from 27% in 2005-06 to 5.5% in 2018-19. It’s a good sign that the extremely poor have declined over time. Those defined as vulnerable poor show a mixed trend, with the highest at 22.1% in 2010-11 and the lowest at 14.3% in 2001-02.
Similarly, the non-poor population was also observed, increasing from 8.5% in 2005-06 to 21.4% in 2018-19, meaning that the non-poor population nearly doubled from 2005-06 to 2018-19. Pakistan’s poverty rate decreased significantly from 1998 to 2019 and by urban and rural areas. The non-poor population increased from 6.7% to 21.4%.
This means overall poverty levels are reduced and more people have access to basic facilities such as food, health, education, and employment. Therefore, from the above analysis, it is concluded that poverty levels across Pakistan have decreased due to a period of high economic growth that has been converted into the successful implementation of traditional and modern programs for poverty reduction and poverty alleviation.
These programs include social safety net programs including Ehsaas Strategy BISP, WWF, and Zakat. It suggested that governments should have appropriate monitoring strategies in place to ensure that the poor could benefit from social safety net programs that serve as job-creating opportunities that help significantly lower the poverty line.