Malawi reduces extreme poverty by 4 percent

A recent report by National Statistics Office (NSO) says Malawi has reduced extreme poverty levels by at least 4 percent between the years 2011 and 2017.

NSO released the latest Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) report in Lilongwe.

The report says most significant decline in ultra-poverty levels was registered in the country’s rural areas compared to the urban.

“Integrated Household Surveys aim at providing updated information on various aspects of welfare and economic status of Malawians, which is very critical in the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies,” reads the report

According to the new poverty report in Malawi, rural areas indicate a decline from 28.1 percent in the year 2010/2011 to 23.8 percent in the year 2016 to 2017.

It says “urban Malawi shows a slight decline from 4.3 percent to 4.1 percent, indicating an overall national decline from 24.5 percent to 20.1 percent.” adds the report

Peter Simbani, acting chief director in the Department of Economic Planning and Development said poverty numbers enable government to design and target relevant policies for various segments of society in line with the country’s medium development framework.

Simbani further said the numbers also help government to respond to various shocks such as droughts and floods, which often lead to macroeconomic instability.

“Drought and floods that hit the country in 2010 and 2016 respectively as some of the emerging challenges affecting the economy and people’s livelihoods,” Simbani cited

NSO’s Assistant Commissioner of Statistics, who was also Survey Coordinator Lizzie Chikoti said “the decline in poverty levels among the rural masses was due to government’s social protection programs.”

The first Integrated Household Survey was conducted in 1997 to 1998.

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