Acute poverty prevails in eight Indian states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, together accounting for more poor people than in the 26 poorest African nations combined, a new ‘multidimensional’ measure of global poverty has said.
The new measure, called the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), was developed and applied by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative(OPHI) with Undp support. It will be featured in the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition of the Undp Human Development Report.
An analysis by the MPI creators reveals that there are more ‘MPI poor’ people in eight Indian states (421 million in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal) than in the 26 poorest African countries combined (410 million).
The new poverty measure that gives a multidimensional picture of people living in poverty, and is expected to help target development resources more effectively, its creators said. The MPI supplants the Human Poverty Index, which had been included in the annual Human Development Reports since 1997.
The 2010 Undp Human Development Report will be published in late October, but research findings from the Multidimensional Poverty Index were made available today at a policy forum in London and on line on the websites of OPHI and the Undp Human Development Report.
The MPI assesses a range of critical factors or ‘deprivations’ at the household level: from education to health outcomes to assets and services. These factors provide a fuller portrait of acute poverty than simple income measures, according to OPHI and Undp.