Round-up of regional news

Poverty inflation?

Come November, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced that it will be changing the way it measures global poverty. Since 1997, its country-wise Human Development Report (HDR) has employed what is known as the Human Poverty Index, using indicators such as health, education and standard of living. But this will now be replaced by a new index, known as the Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI.

For the past decade, criticism levelled against the old Human Poverty Index has included its failure to capture the full extent of deprivation. For instance, a household's standard of living is judged by the availability of drinking water and number of underweight children. The new MPI, on the other hand, goes a little further – for instance, including electricity, cooking fuel and access to toilets. The MPI also tries to see poverty in terms of overlapping deprivations, such as the connection between low income and malnutrition, or the education of girls and sanitation facilities in school.

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Himal Southasian