One in Five Poor in Bangladesh’s Urban Areas: World Bank

Desk Report

Published: 16 Sep 2021, 04:55 pm

The World Bank Logo || Photo: Collected

The World Bank Logo || Photo: Collected

The World Bank reports that one in five poor people in Bangladesh’s urban areas, many of whom are outside the government's social security program.

Rural areas have been given more importance in social security programs. Although one in five urban areas is poor and half of the urban dwellers are at risk of poverty.

This was stated in a press release from the Dhaka office of the World Bank on Thursday (September 16). The report titled 'Bangladesh Social Protection Public Expenditure Review' highlights various aspects of Bangladesh's continued investment in social security and various social security programs.

It also outlines how to improve existing structures, including project planning, design, programming and delivery.

As mentioned in the report, there is a need to balance social security programs between rural and urban areas. In urban areas, about 11 percent of people have access to social security, although 19 percent are poor. In rural areas, on the other hand, 28 percent of the population is poor, although 37 percent are covered by social security programs.

The report states that more emphasis on social security programs can alleviate poverty in Bangladesh at a significant rate.

It said social security programs are at the heart of Bangladesh's sustainable development strategy. Through this the poor people are benefiting. With more emphasis on social security programs, Bangladesh will be able to alleviate poverty at a significant rate.

Dandan Chen, the World Bank's operations manager for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said Bangladesh has greatly expanded the scope of its social security programs over the past few decades. At present 3 out of every 10 houses in the country are under this perimeter. The ongoing global corona epidemic has necessitated more vigorous action.

He added that the Coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for stronger, more efficient and adaptable social security systems. Moving forward, well-targeted and less fragmented social security programs that will help the country move forward with the success of poverty reduction in the face of demographic change, unplanned urbanization, labor market vulnerabilities and frequent shocks.

According to the report, in fiscal year 2020, Bangladesh spent about 2.6 percent of GDP on social security. Which is consistent with countries with similar income levels. One out of every eight poor people in the country is a small child. Yet poor young children receive only 1.6 percent of social security spending. Expenditures will be more effective if the allocations are linked to the share of the poor in different sections and to the various programs run through the programs.

Chief Editor: Eliash Uddin Palash | Publisher: Nahida Akter Zahedee

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