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India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, says United Nations report

Representative image. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 12, 2019, 01.29 PM (IST)

India, in the last decade, has lifted 271 million people out of poverty, a United Nations report said on Thursday. The report was based on the multidimensional poverty index, which saw India recording the fastest reduction, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said.

More than 21 per cent of India's 1.3 billion people lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2011, when the last census was taken, according to the World Bank.

But this time, the UN studied 101 countries and said 1.3 billion people are "multidimensionally poor", which means that poverty is defined not simply by income, but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor quality of work and the threat of violence.

Of these 101 countries, the reduction of poverty was fastest in 10, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam, the report said.

"In India, there were 271 million fewer people in poverty in 2016 than in 2006, while in Bangladesh the number dropped by 19 million between 2004 and 2014," it said.

India reduced deprivation in nutrition from 44.3 per cent in 2005-06 to 21.2 per cent in 2015-16, child mortality dropped from 4.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent, people deprived of cooking fuel reduced from 52.9 per cent to 26.2 per cent, deprivation in sanitation from 50.4 per cent to 24.6 per cent, those deprived of drinking water reduced from 16.6 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

Further, more people gained access to electricity as deprivation was reduced from 29.1 per cent to 8.6 per cent, housing from 44.9 per cent to 23.6 per cent and assets deprivation from 37.6 per cent to 9.5 per cent. The trends in these 10 countries also shine a light on where poverty reduction has been uneven, despite the good progress overall, it said.

The Indian government had said in April this year that fast economic growth and rapid urbanisation would slash the number of people in extreme poverty by 2021 and end it completely in the decade after that.

Economic growth in recent years had generated enough revenue for states to work more on poverty alleviation, job creation and improving healthcare and education, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The Indian government had said in April this year that fast economic growth and rapid urbanisation would slash the number of people in extreme poverty by 2021