Eight million Bangladeshi were lifted from poverty between 2010 and 2016, a new World Bank report disclosed.
The report, entitled Bangladesh Poverty Assessment: Facing old and new frontiers in poverty reduction, links the decline in poverty and improvement in living conditions to robust economic growth and an increase in labor income from the manufacturing industry.
"Bangladesh has an inspiring story of reducing poverty and advancing development. Since 2000, the country has reduced poverty by half,” the report reads. “Between 2010 and 2016, about 8 million Bangladeshi exited poverty.”
Alongside poverty reduction, the report claims human capital and life expectancy increased, child mortality lowered, and access to education, electricity, and clean water and sanitation improved.
NEW: A World Bank report shows that robust economic growth in #Bangladesh continued driving poverty reduction, but at a slower rate. Between 2010 and 2026, 8 million people came out of poverty. #EndPovertyhttps://t.co/98uobBQxfjpic.twitter.com/gnybtZPrVC— World Bank South Asia (@WorldBankSAsia) October 7, 2019
However, behind this progress, the report highlights “emerging contrasts.”
Ninety percent of the nation’s poverty reduction occurred in rural areas, but the share of people living in extreme poverty in urban areas remained almost unchanged. The report also showed that while the pace of economic growth has increased, the rate of poverty reduction was slower than between 2005 and 2010.
Likewise, 54% of those who recently moved out of poverty are “vulnerable” to falling back in.
"The progress that Bangladesh has made in reducing poverty in the last decade is remarkable,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, in a press release. “But, with one out of four people still living in poverty, the country needs to do more, especially in addressing the new frontiers of poverty. For example, tackling urban poverty is critical since, at current trends, more than half of the poor in Bangladesh is projected to live in urban areas by 2030.”
Still, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal believes the nation will continue to witness notable poverty reductions in the coming years and achieve its vision of a poverty rate of less than 3% by 2030.
“I hope you will see significant improvement in poverty reduction in the next two or three years, as the government has increased social safety net coverage and targeted vulnerable groups of people with specific programs to bring them out of poverty,” he said during an event at a hotel in the nation’s capital for the report’s launch, according to the Dhaka Tribune.
Among the nation’s fresh poverty reduction solutions is the establishment of 100 Special Economic Zones — areas with unique economic regulation that promote foreign investment — which Kamal revealed would create 10 million new jobs across the country.