Poverty Assessment

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    Honduras Poverty Assessment: Toward a Path of Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-02) Robayo-Abril, Monica ; Rude, Britta ; Cadena, Kiyomi ; Espino, Ilya
    Honduras, already among the poorest countries in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, experienced weak poverty reduction in 2014–19 compared to other countries in the region. The COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Eta and Iota led to a rise in poverty from 2019 to 2020; it is likely that poverty will remain above prepandemic levels in 2021. The economic rebound in 2021, as well as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, led to an increase in food prices; at the same time, Honduras’s population is vulnerable to rising food prices and food insecurity is high. In 2019, the extreme poor spent almost half of their income on food. Additionally, food insecurity was persistently high. A striking feature of Honduras is the deep and widening urban-rural divide in terms of quality of life. There is a wide urban-rural poverty gap for both the moderate and the extreme poor, which reflects significant disparities in access to basic services such as electricity, water, and sanitation, and internet usage, as well as lower human capital accumulation and worsen labor market indicators in rural areas. While overall income inequality has been stagnant since 2014, inequality in rural areas has increased while in urban areas it has declined. The country is one of the most unequal countries in LAC. Hondurans continue to face deep and persistent disparities in access to and quality of education, with rural areas heavily penalized, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, despite high spending on education. Subnational disparities are particularly large; poverty continues to be most heavily concentrated in the country’s southwestern areas, in departments with higher shares of ethnic minorities, and in municipalities located in the south and southwest. This report focuses on the factors that have contributed to these observed poverty and inequality trends and patterns in Honduras.
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    Cambodia Poverty Assessment: Toward a More Inclusive and Resilient Cambodia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-11) Karamba, Wendy ; Tong, Kimsun ; Salcher, Isabelle
    This poverty assessment evaluates Cambodia’s poverty reduction progress between 2009 and 2019 and contributing factors. Based on the authors understanding of contributing factors, the assessment asks what the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been, and what will be needed to support inclusive recovery. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) recently updated the national poverty lines for Cambodia. Prompted by Cambodia’s transition to lower middle-income status in 2015, the RGC revisited the poverty measurement methodology in 2017; the review confirmed that the way Cambodians live and spend today has changed considerably as the country became richer, and that the national poverty lines needed revising to better reflect economic realities. This assessment uses the new poverty lines to evaluate Cambodia between 2009 and 2019, coupled with other data sources. This poverty assessment covers 5 chapters. Chapter 1 examines the progress Cambodia made in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 2 examines the evolution of nonmonetary poverty between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 3 examines the profile of poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 4 examines the 2019 fiscal system and its effects on poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 5 examines COVID-19 socio-economic effects on Cambodian Households in 2020.
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    Opportunities for Reducing Poverty and Inequality in Costa Rica: World Bank Poverty and Inequality Assessment
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-09-01) World Bank
    The purpose of this poverty assessment is to shine a new light on poverty, inequality, and its drivers in Costa Rica. The report provides a descriptive overview of poverty trends in the country and examines why the poorest do not reap the benefits of economic growth. It provides high-level policy directions, i.e., areas that merit a high level of attention according to the results of the analysis and broad implications of the findings for policy makers. The report should be interpreted as a contribution to the debate within Costa Rica on how to improve the country’s model of growth for the benefit of all. It is important to mention at the outset that the analysis presented in this report was completed at the time the conflict in Ukraine started. The conflict is expected to have substantial repercussions in Costa Rica and the rest of the Latin America region. The conflict is expected to hit the poorest hardest, as food and fuel – the prices of which are expected to increase due to the conflict – make up a large part of their consumption. However, these possible implications of the conflict are not reflected in the report.
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    Progress, Setbacks, and Uncertainty: Effects of COVID-19 and Coup on Poverty in Myanmar
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-07-08) World Bank
    This poverty synthesis notes documents Myanmar’s poverty reduction progress leading to the COVID-19 crisis, and setback to these gains brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and coup. The note aims to extract lessons from the Myanmar Poverty Assessment and the World Bank High-Frequency Phone Surveys. Analysis of welfare trends and drivers of poverty changes draws from the Poverty Assessment and covers the period 2005–2017, in line with existing national household surveys. Analysis of COVID-19 and 2021 military coup effects relies on the World Bank High-Frequency Phone Surveys (HFPS) conducted between March 2020 and February 2022. Starting May 2020, seven rounds of the phone survey data have been collected, each with national coverage consisting of a sample of 1,500 households, with the exception of the sixth round. Six survey cover the period May 2020–January 2021 during the pandemic and prior to the military coup, and one covers February 2022, one year after the military takeover on 1 February 2021. Annex one and Annex two provides more details of the survey implementation and respondent profile.
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    Uganda Poverty Assessment: Strengthening Resilience to Accelerate Poverty Reduction
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-06-27) World Bank
    The share of Uganda’s population that lives below the poverty line has fluctuated over the last seven years, greatly influenced by shocks that have tested the resilience of the people. About 30 percent of the country’s population was poor in 2019-20, which is comparable to the poverty rate of 30.7 percent in 2012-13. The pattern of fluctuating poverty rates is largely driven by the experience of rural households. There was a surge in the poverty rate between 2012-13 and 2016-17, linked to the drought in 2016-17, followed by improvement in 2019-20 prior to the pandemic, when favorable weather conditions helped lift rural incomes. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed both urban and rural residents into poverty. Inequality, which reflects the extent to which different population groups benefit from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and affects the transmission of growth into poverty reduction, remained largely unchanged over this period and may even have worsened in urban areas. The rest of this overview presents key findings of the report. The next section synthesizes key facts about Uganda’s poverty reduction experience up to 2020. These facts set the stage for the section that follows examining reasons behind limited progress in poverty reduction. The final section reviews the key policy points for action. The report’s analysis is based on new analysis of available data sources as well as published analytical reports such as the Systematic Country Diagnostic Update (World Bank; International Finance Corporation; Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency 2021), the Country Economic Memorandum (World Bank 2022), and the previous Poverty Assessment (World Bank 2016).
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    Brazil Poverty and Equity Assessment: Looking Ahead of Two Crises
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) World Bank
    In 2020, Brazil was about to face socioeconomic disruptions of historical proportions. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic broke several undesirable Brazilian records. First, the pandemic wreaked an enormous direct human toll, sickening millions and causing the death of 195,441 Brazilians in 2020 and 619,056 in 2021. Second, the Brazilian economy experienced its worst contraction in recorded history, with real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth in 2020 at -4.7 percent (compared to the previous record of -4.4 percent in 2015). Third, COVID-related closures and other measures led to a massive, unprecedented exit of workers, with an estimated 10 million people leaving the labor force between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020. The economic crisis induced by the pandemic is the second in Brazil’s recent economic history, following the 2014 to 2016 crisis. These downturns have nearly halted its poverty reduction progress and widened disparities in what was already one of the most unequal countries in the world. The Brazil Poverty and Equity Assessment takes an analytical approach to study the situation of the Brazilian population as they were facing these economic shocks. With a focus on the more recent pandemic shock, the report combines household survey, administrative and phone survey data to: i) analyze how the most vulnerable weathered the impacts of the pandemic and how the support of the government provided protection during this time; ii) present an in-depth profile of the monetary poor and vulnerable, including data from traditional communities not published before; iii) understand the non-monetary vulnerabilities of the population such as the risks to climate change events; and iv) discuss public policy implications that can help tackle the deep rooted causes of poverty.
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    From the Last Mile to the Next Mile – 2022 Vietnam Poverty & Equity Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    Vietnam is a country on the move and in transition. Indicators are pointing in the right direction, with many positive economic and social developments. The amount of progress that Vietnam has achieved in less than half a century since emerging from a war has been nearly without parallel. At the same time, Vietnam is a lower-middle-income country facing a challenging and uncharted road ahead to reaching upper-middle and high-income country levels in a shifting global economic and climatic landscape. In less than half a century since the end of the Vietnam War and thirty-five years since the Doi Moi reforms, Vietnam has become a vibrant economy and a sought-after market to the outside world. At the same time, despite remarkable progress, poverty remains a key concern among the population. Concerns over poverty amid high economic growth are not inconsistent; together they illustrate an absolute and inclusive rise in living standards, but also a population that seeks economic security and aspires for more. This Vietnam poverty and equity assessment is organized into two parts motivated by addressing both Last Mile and Next Mile issues: Part I reviews poverty and inequality trends over the last decade, 2010–2020; and Part II assesses opportunities for and challenges to Vietnam’s path to achieving its Next Mile aspirations and creating greater prosperity for households and workers.
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    Towards a More Inclusive Zanzibar Economy: Zanzibar Poverty Assessment 2022
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    This report assesses recent progress in poverty reduction in Zanzibar. It is based on Zanzibar’s last three household budget surveys and considers the period between 2009 and 2019, with a focus on the last four years of this decade: 2015–2019. Poverty — based on household consumption — fell by 9 percentage points over the decade before the COVID-19 pandemic: it dropped from 34.9 to 25.7 percent. However, the pace of poverty reduction was slow relative to population growth and as such, the number of poor dropped by only 27,000. The drop was fastest in urban areas and because poverty levels were already lower than in rural areas, the gap between rural and urban poverty widened, driven by differences between the islands of Unguja and Pemba. Simulations suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic increased urban poverty increased by 1.8 percentage points in 2020–21 while rural poverty dropped by 0.8 percentage points.
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    COVID-19 Vaccine Inequities and Hesitancy in Iraq: Results from June, July, and August 2021 Rounds of Iraq High Frequency Phone Survey (IHFPS)
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    While Iraq continues to experience a surge in the number of coronavirus cases, the proportion of the country’s population that is vaccinated remains very low. For a more in-depth understanding of the state of vaccination in Iraq, this note presents findings on Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination disparities and hesitancy from the last three rounds of the Iraq High Frequency Phone Survey (IHFPS) conducted between June and August 2021. Findings from the survey suggest a low but increasing vaccination trend among adult Iraqis, however, resistance to the vaccine remain high. Fear and mistrust towards the Covid-19 vaccine risks to undermine the efficacy of the country’s vaccination campaign. Low vaccination rate and the important disparities that have emerged in vaccination and vaccine hesitancy highlight the need for a robust and more inclusive vaccination campaign.
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    Mongolia 2020 Poverty Report: A Decade of Progress and Stagnation in Poverty Reduction
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank ; National Statistics Office of Mongolia
    Mongolia made notable strides in reducing poverty from 2010 to 2014, but the pace of poverty reduction slowed significantly after the 2016 economic recession. The trend of declining inequality and inclusive growth seen in the first half of the decade changed course in the latter half. Greater urbanization and narrowing geographical disparities in poverty have meant that the poor have become increasingly concentrated in urban centers, especially Ulaanbaatar. Economic volatility and uncertainty together with restrictions on face-to-face services may have led to an increase in precautionary saving among households, particularly during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. An additional issue related to the measurement of consumption in 2020 specifically is the survey-to-survey imputation approach that was used to estimate poverty and the consumption distribution due to changes in the household socio-economic survey (HSES) questionnaire. Finally, despite significant increases, social transfers have had only modest success in reducing poverty due to targeting inefficiencies. The 2020 HSES shows that impacts to employment in 2020 were not significant until the final quarter, with workers in urban areas and in the service sector more likely to be affected. While subsequent surveys will provide a clearer picture of the longer-term impacts of the pandemic, signs of potentially lasting and unequalizing effects have emerged after 2020.