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Bangladesh was on track to halve poverty by 2030 because the country lifted around 19 million people out of multidimensional poverty between 2014 and 2019, a report by the United Nations has said.

Before the pandemic, about 47 countries, including Bangladesh, were on track to halve poverty between 2015 and 2030 if the trend continued as it was observed.

Eighteen countries were off track-14 of which were in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report titled "Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2020" was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) on July 16.

MPI measures poor people's living complexities individually and collectively.

The latest edition drew a comprehensive picture of poverty for 107 developing countries and examined each person's deprivations across 10 indicators in three equally weighted dimensions- health, education and standard of living.

In 2019, 39.24 million people (24.6 percent) were deprived of all or any of the three dimensions in Bangladesh.

The country is most vulnerable in standard of living. This dimension contributed 45.1 percent to deprivation.

Meanwhile, education contributed 37.6 percent, and health contributed 17.3 percent to deprivation.

Additionally, 6.5 percent of the population are in severe multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh.

Among 107 studied countries, 1.3 billion people (22 percent) are multidimensionally poor, and most of them are from Africa (558 million) and South Asia (530 million)-forming 84.3 percent.

Moreover, among 1.3 billion, 644 million are children under age 18.


Bangladesh third in South Asia

The MPI score ranges from 0 to 1 and higher values imply higher poverty.

Bangladesh (0.104) scored better than India (0.123), Nepal (0.148), Bhutan (0.175), Pakistan (0.198), and Afghanistan (0.272) among South Asian countries.

Only the Maldives (0.003) and Sri Lanka (0.011) were found to be ahead of Bangladesh in the region.

Noting the examples of pro-poor reduction, where the poorest areas are making faster progress, the report said that Bangladesh, Laos and Mauritania showed a pro-poor trend in reducing multidimensional poverty.

The director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP, Pedro Conçeicão said, "Covid-19 is the latest crisis to hit the globe, and climate change all but guarantees more will follow soon."

"Each will affect the poor in multiple ways. More than ever, we need to work on tackling poverty – and vulnerability to poverty – in all its forms. This is why the Multidimensional Poverty Index is so important," added Conçeicão.