The World Bank (WB) has estimated that poverty in Pakistan has increased from 4.4 percent to 5.4 percent. More than two million people have fallen below the poverty line in Pakistan.
The WB used the lower-middle-income poverty rate ($3.2 per day) and estimated that the poverty ratio in Pakistan stood at 39.3 percent in 2020-21 and is projected to remain at 39.2 percent in 2021-22 and might come down to 37.9 percent by 2022-23.
By using the upper-middle-income poverty rate ($5.5 per day) methods, the WB estimated that poverty stood at 78.4 percent in 2020-21, and it would be standing at 78.3 percent in 2021-22 and is projected to come down to 77.5 percent in 2022-23. The World Bank’s Macro Poverty Outlook on Pakistan stated that the incidence of poverty is estimated to have increased in FY20 from 4.4 to 5.4 percent, using the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, with more than two million people falling below this poverty line. Moreover, 40 percent of households suffered from moderate to severe food insecurity.
At a time when the WB has been showing rising trends in poverty, the government has just released poverty figures for 2018-19 and indicated that the poverty declined from 24.3 percent in 2015-16 to 21.9 percent in 2018-19 in the pre-COVID-19 period.
The WB stated that the government, therefore, focused on mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of the pandemic, and the IMF programme was temporarily put on hold. However, the containment measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a collapse in economic activity during the final quarter of FY20. As a result, the GDP growth is estimated to have contracted by 1.5 percent in FY20.
Half of the working population saw either job or income losses, with informal and low-skilled workers employed in elementary occupations facing the strongest contraction in employment. As a result, the poverty incidence is estimated to elementary occupations facing the strongest contraction in employment.
As a result, the poverty incidence is estimated to have increased in FY20 from 4.4 to 5.4 percent, using the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, with more than two million people falling below this poverty line.
Moreover, 40 percent of households suffered. The WB stated that major risks to the outlook include the possibility of new waves of infections, the emergence of new vaccine-resistant strains, and setbacks in mass vaccinations.
In addition, more delays in the implementation of critical structural reforms could lead to further fiscal and macroeconomic imbalances.