Ethiopia’s poverty head count ratio declines by 6.1 percent: Report

(EBC; October 11, 2017)- Poverty head count ratio has declined by 6.1 percent in Ethiopia with 5.3 million people were lifted out of poverty in five years, a report revealed

In its 2015/16 Interim Poverty Analysis Report launched on Tuesday, the Ethiopian National Planning Commission said head count poverty has declined from 29.6 percent in 2011 to 23.5 percent in 2016.

The analysis was made by taking 30, 255 households as samples from all the nine regional states and the two city administrations of the country.

Although both rural and urban areas witnessed a decline in poverty between 2011 and 2016, the decline was more pronounced in urban than rural areas, the report said.

According to the report, poverty declined from 30.4 percent in rural areas in 2011 to 25.6 percent in 2016, while in urban areas, it decreased from 25.7 to 14.8 percent.

The interim report further indicated that the per capita GDP of the country has increased from about 142 US dollars in 2003/04 to about 794 US dollars in 2016.

Speaking at the launching event, Getachew Adem, State Minister of the National Planning Commission said the substantial decline in poverty is attributed to the pro-poor programs implemented over the past years.

The pro-poor program are expansion of improved agricultural technologies and farming practices, commercialization of smallholder farming, rural infrastructural development, the Productive Safety Net Programs (PSNP) and emergency aid during the drought years, among others.

Even though Ethiopia's economic growth has been on upward trajectory over the past decade or so, Ethiopia is still among the low income countries in the world with GDP per-capita of $1608 in PPP terms and in 2017 the World Bank ranked 164 out of 187 countries.

The regional comparison shows that poverty is still high in Tigray, Amhara, and Benishangul Gumuz states with 27, 26 and 26 percentages respectively and low in Harari state with only seven percent.

Though the country has managed to reduce poverty in a considerable percentage, there are still 21 million people below poverty line.  

Reporter: Muluneh Gebre