The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is a key international resource that measures acute multidimensional poverty across more than 100 developing countries. The MPI assesses poverty by considering various deprivations experienced by people across health, education, and standard of living; it also provides unique insights into the conditions of poverty and how they vary across age groups, urban and rural areas and subnational locations so that policymakers can be guided on specific interventions.
For the first time, the report this year presents deprivation profiles of the poor across 111 countries located mainly in the developing regions of the world, and, through country case studies, offers the policy implications that can be drawn from them. A special section of the report highlights trends over the last 15 years in India, where the number of poor people dropped by about 415 million. The poorest states reduced poverty the fastest, and deprivations in all indicators fell significantly among poor people, it states. Poverty among children fell faster in absolute terms, although India still has the highest number of poor children in the world (97 million, or 21.8 per cent of children aged 0–17).
The Sustainable Development Goal target 1.2 is to reduce by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions by 2030, and India’s progress shows that this goal is feasible, the report states. However, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty in India cannot be fully assessed because 71 per cent of the data from the 2019-2021 Demographic and Health Survey was collected before the pandemic. The report calls for frequent and up-to-date household surveys to measure poverty in all its dimensions, and launch strategic tools to eliminate abject poverty.
First launched in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the University of Oxford and the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme, the global MPI advances the Sustainable Development Goal, holding the world accountable to its resolution to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.