Contents1. What Is Poverty?2. General Overview of the Bangladesh Economic3. Rural and Urban Poverty4. Causes of Rural and Urban Poverty5. Steps for Poverty Alleviation in Bangladesh
What is Poverty ?Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being and comprises many dimension. Itincludes low income and the inability toacquire the basic goods and servicesnecessary for survival with dignity. Povertyalso encompasses low levels of health andeducation, poor access to clear water andsanitation, inadequate physical security,and lack of voice, and insufficient capacityand opportunity to better one’s life.
General Overview of the Bangladesh EconomicEven though there are political instability,poor infrastructure, corruption, insufficientpower supplies, and slow implementation ofeconomic reforms, the economy has grown5-6% per year since 1996. However,Bangladesh still remains a poor,overpopulated, and inefficiently-governednation with about 45% of the Bangladeshisbeing employed in the agriculture sector.
Rural and Urban PovertyThe population in Bangladesh is predominantly rural, with almost80% of the population living in the rural areas. Many of them livein remote areas that lack services such as education, health clinicsand adequate roads, particularly road links to markets. They sufferfrom persistent food insecurity, own no land and assets, are oftenuneducated and may also suffer serious illnesses or disabilities.Women are among the poorest of the rural poor, especially whenthey are the sole heads of their households. They sufferdiscrimination, have few earning opportunities.In the urban areas, there is about 37% of the urban populationliving below national poverty line. For those living in urban areas,especially the capital Dhaka, and major industrial cities such asChittagong, Khulna, and Rajshahi, they enjoy a better standard ofliving, with electricity, gas, and clean water supplies. Despite this,there is still a significant proportion of Bangladeshis living in slumsthat fall apart during the monsoon season and have no regularelectricity, limited access to health care and to clean drinking water.
One of the main causes of rural poverty is due the country’sgeographical and demographic characteristics. A largeproportion of the country is low-lying, and thus is at a highrisk to flooding. Many of the rural poor live in areas that areprone to extreme annual flooding which cause huge damageto their crops, homes and livelihoods. These natural disastersalso cause outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne anddiarrheal diseases such as dengue and malaria which willaffect them physically and lower their productivity levels.The causes of urban poverty are due to the limitedemployment opportunities, degraded environment, and badhousing and sanitation. The urban poor hold jobs that arelabor demanding, thus affecting their health conditions.Therefore, the urban poor are in a difficult situation to escapepoverty.Causes of Rural and Urban Poverty
Steps for Poverty Alleviation in Bangladeshi. Trends in the Economyii. Regional Trends in Povertyiii.Mortality and Health Indicatorsiv.Literacy Rates in Bangladesh
TRENDS IN ECONOMYBangladesh made noteworthy progress in poverty reduction andthe attainment of “Millennium Development Goals” during the1990-2000 period in spite of pitfalls such as instability, inefficiency,leakage, mis-targeting and erosion of regulatory standards.Economic growth was most robust in the industrial sector, whichincreased in importance from 21 percent to 26 percent of GDP, withits real GDP rising by an impressive 86 percent during the nineties.The export-oriented ready-made garment (RMG) sector recordeddouble-digit annual growth. Even within the agricultural sector,however, notable achievements marked the period. The countryattained food grain self-sufficiency in FY2000 and estimatedaggregate production reached approximately 25 million tons.Despite its declining importance, continues to be the main sourceof employment in Bangladesh.
REGIONAL TRENDS IN POVERTYWhile poverty reduction has occurred for both rural and urbanareas, a disaggregation by geographic regions reveals sharpregional variations. The largest decline in poverty incidenceoccurred for the Dhaka division, followed by Chittagong andSylhet. By contrast, poverty headcount stagnated in Barisal andincreased slightly for Khulna. As a result of this unequal pattern ofpoverty reduction, regional differences were quite sharp in 2005.The poverty headcount ranged from a low of 32 percent in Dhakaand 34 percent in Chittagong and Sylhet, to over 50 percent inBarisal and Rajshahi.
Mortality and Health IndicatorsDeprivation in health and deprivation in nutrition are the two mostimportant causes and consequences of poverty. The report citesthree principal health-problems of Bangladesh: over population,malnutrition and communicable diseases. Children, women and thepoor constitute the high risk-groups for ill health and the pooresthouseholds bear a disproportionate share of the burden of illhealth; their mortality rate is 85 percent higher than that of therichest households. The major objectives of policies of the sectorare to reduce mortality and to improve nutritional status, especiallyof women and children, the elderly and the poor by providing fairaccess to food, water and sanitation. The Government policy seeksto create conditions whereby people of Bangladesh have theopportunity to reach and maintain the highest attainable level ofhealth. Since the present level of public resources devoted to thehealth sector falls far short of the requirements, policies are to bedesigned to harness the resources of the private sector forinvesting in the health sector.
LITERACY RATES IN BANGLADESHIn 2005, the national literacy rate in Bangladesh was 51.9percent; in rural areas, 46.7 percent of the population isliterate and in urban areas 67.9 percent.