Data from the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (Unctad) indicates that 71 percent of Malawians are living in extreme poverty despite increased public spending on health and education, which are Malawi’s priority areas.
Accordind to a new report published in our sister paper The Nation on Tuesday, topping the list of countries with extreme poverty is Madagascar at 82 percent, Burundi at 78 percent, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 77 percent and in Malawi 71 percent.
According to the report, Malawi’s poverty levels are too high in rural areas with a headcount ratio of 58 percent while in the urban areas, poverty headcount ratio stood at roughly about 20 percent.
Headcount refers to the proportion of the population that lives below the poverty line, defined by the World Bank as cases where a person lives on $1.90 (around K1 300) per day.
The Unctad report comes hot in the heels of the United Nations Development Programme 2016 Human Development Index findings which showed that Malawi continued to lag behind on human development, ranking 170 out of 188 from the previous year’s position 171, thereby missing out on the global development priorities.
Again, the second Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) review found that Malawi failed to reduce poverty and worsened deprivation in urban areas with the urban poverty which between 2010 and 2013 surged 8.3 percent from 17.9 percent to 26.2 percent.
We on the street are rather worried that for many years, successive governments have failed to uproot poverty in this country. As I write, rural poverty is getting worse by the day.
Another report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’ called African Social Development Index (ASDI) was very blunt. The report revealed that Malawi and the rest of Africa are poor er than the were two decades ago.
All this boils down to inequality fuelled by greed and corruption.
Our leaders are more interested in lining their pockets than serving the country. Look at the economic crisis that we are all going through. Yet amidst the cries and skyrocketing cost of living, APM and his cronies can afford to cause a traffic gridlock in Blantyre with their snaking convoys. The leadership’s obsession to show-off that they are popular and still in control is really a slap in the face of voters—a majority of whom no longer live on a dollar a day!
APM must know that poverty in this country is getting worse. His podium taunts that ‘we are doing fine and nilibe problemu are nothing but hallucinations of a leader who is out of touch with reality.
Word on the street is that, since our readers hate reading such damning reports, someone should shove this new report down government throat: the President and his advisors must read it.
Poverty is getting worse in this country and no one seems to care.
We on the streets cannot survive too long on a diet of morals and if government continues to pay a deaf ear to concerns of hunger, unemployment and inequality we too will seek solace, just like your ministers, in crime.