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Extreme Poverty The Challenges of Inclusion in Bangladesh

In the period 2010-16 (HIES 2016 and World Bank Poverty Assessment Report 2019), poverty (upper and lower poverty lines) reduced to 25% of the population, with the extremely poor (lower poverty line) at 11% of total population estimated at 162 million, therefore approximately 18 million people. • COVID-19 has pushed up these proportions, with overall poverty variously estimated at @42%, i.e. plus 28 million (BIGD-PPRC, 2020) or 35% i.e. plus 16 million (Sen, Ali and Murshed, 2020). • Both COVID impact projections need health warnings: the first is based upon an unrepresentative urban/rural sample; the second is based upon 80% recovery rate of the economy in the 4th quarter of 2020. • It is not clear what additions have occurred to the extreme population with vulnerable non-poor descending into moderate poverty (i.e. below upper poverty line) and further descents by some moderate poor into extreme poverty. • Rates of poverty reduction for 2010-16 were higher for rural areas than urban (World Bank, 2019), and higher overall for moderate than extreme poverty. • Whereas the main explanation for poverty reduction in the 2005-10 period was attributed to rises in real agricultural wage rates (World Bank, 2013), this was no longer the case for 2010-16 period. 

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