Fighting poverty in all of its dimensions lies at the core of the World Bank’s work. We work closely with governments to develop sound policies so that poor people can improve their livelihoods, and access social and infrastructure services and good jobs.
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In Africa, 1/3 of one-year-old children are not vaccinated for measles, 25% of primary school-aged children are out of school, and 25% of children don’t have safe drinking water. These statistics are ... Show More +more than just indicators of the general well-being of children. Early access to basic goods and services, which is often influenced by a child’s social and economic circumstances, can shape opportunities and quality of life in adulthood.Access to primary education, basic health services, safe drinking water, electricity and adequate nutrition at a young age are particularly critical for allowing a child to attain his or her full potential.This report explores changing opportunities for children in Africa and makes policy recommendations for building human capital and improving opportunities through equal access to education and health care.Read the full report Show Less -
Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health – Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, Hon. CSO Director, Mr. John Kalumbi, Senior Government Officials. Members of the Media, Distinguished Guests, Ladies... Show More + and GentlemenFirst, let me take this opportunity to thank the Zambian Government for the ongoing collaboration in our common agenda to uplift the lives of Zambians and promote economic growth. The World Bank’s current commitment to investment operations in Zambia amounts to US$570 million. This financing is complemented by analytical and advisory work, and other global knowledge that helps Government in making decisions on policies, programs and reforms.This report on Mapping Subnational Poverty in Zambia is an example of work that we do to help Government make informed decisions. Last year, the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the World Bank embarked on a poverty mapping project aimed at creating poverty estimations up to the lowest administrative levels in the country using the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, and the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey of 2010. Hon. Minister, at the outset, I really would like to commend Government for this type of collaboration. It makes working on development such a pleasure as we think through challenges together using the same information basis.Through this report we are launching today, we now know that some of the poorest wards in Zambia are concentrated in the Western, North Western, and Luapula provinces, while the largest concentrations of the poor population are in some of the wards in the Lusaka, Eastern, Central, and Northern provinces. We also learn that those wards with highest poverty rates are also those with lower rates of household education, higher numbers of individuals employed in the agricultural sector, farther average distances to primary and tertiary roads, and lowest concentrations of rainfall precipitation.As you see, the whole exercise of mapping poverty is important for enhancing current understanding of the country’s distribution of poverty and the geographic and biophysical conditions where the poor live. Honorable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is our view that this information will assist policy makers, Development Partners and other stakeholders in designing interventions to reduce poverty. Such information is even more critical now considering that Zambia’s recent economic growth of above 6% has not improved living conditions for the poor. I’m here thinking of people in places such as Kapiri Mposhi, and Mansa in Central and Luapula Provinces respectively, which have very high concentrations of poor populations not yet enjoying the economic growth rates and Zambia’s status as a lower middle income country. Such people must be reached.Perhaps, the most significant and immediate impact of the information contained in this report is the shift towards an evidence-based approach to policy making and resource allocation in the areas that need them most. Information on poverty at constituency and ward levels can be compared against access to amenities such as markets, schools and health facilities to derive plans for a faster and better access to such amenities. Such information could also be contrasted with job growth poles and local agriculture development.Hon. Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to share with you a very practical example of how the Kenya Constituency Development Fund uses poverty estimates at subnational levels to allocate part of its resources to cater for poorer constituencies. The Kenya CDF targets development projects at grassroots level in constituencies. Part of the resources of the CDF are divided equitably among Kenya’s 210 constituencies, whilst the remaining portion is divided based on a poverty index to cater for poorer constituencies. This has helped to achieve equitable distribution of development resources across regions, and to control imbalances in regional development brought about by partisan politics.Zambia also has a Constituency Development Fund. The estimates of poverty ranges at the constituency level could be a powerful tool for allocating transfers in the Zambia CDF. Such an approach could facilitate the putting up of new water, health and education facilities in remote areas of the country that would otherwise get overlooked during funds allocation in national budgets.Honorable Minister, we are aware of the Government’s commitment towards reducing poverty and in particular the expansion of its safety net system through programs such as the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and the preparation of the Rural Women Empowerment Project. This effort is commendable as it will make a dent on poverty if well implemented. While there is a need to be judicious about the information constraints to undertake some of these tasks, it is clear that using the subnational poverty estimates obtained in the report would be extremely helpful in improving the geographic allocation of resources to the poor as part of these interventions.Honorable Minister, CSO Director, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me conclude by confirming that the World Bank is indeed fully committed to a continued partnership with Zambia as it strives toward lessening poverty. The mapping report we are launching today attests to this, and further, we are already supporting the CSO to conduct the next round of the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey this year. The new survey will provide vital baseline information for National Development Plans, and for us all to measure and rethink results for Zambia’s development.I thank you for your attention. Show Less -
LUSAKA, March 27, 2015 – A new joint report by the World Bank and the Central Statistical Office (CSO) recommends that using poverty statistics at ward and constituency levels could be more effective ... Show More +in determining allocation of resources to reduce poverty in the country, compared to using other national level statistics.The report, titled Mapping Subnational Poverty in Zambia, shows poverty rates at district, constituency, and ward levels using data from the 2010 Population and Housing Census and the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey also of 2010. The report finds that national level averages of poverty mask important concentrations of poverty in some areas, and also a great heterogeneity of poverty incidence at subnational levels in many parts of the country. The report finds that some of the poorest wards are concentrated in the Western, North Western, and Luapula provinces, but the largest concentrations of the poor population are in some of the wards in the Lusaka, Eastern, Central and Northern provinces. Sixty percent of the population in Zambia is living in poverty.“The estimates of poverty ranges at the constituency and ward levels could be a powerful tool for Zambian policymakers,” says Ms. Kundhavi Kadiresan, the World Bank’s Country Director for Zambia. She adds that since the mapping also shows differences within and among wards, constituencies and districts, such differences should be considered for objective and meaningful targeting. The World Bank Country Director also commends the collaboration between the CSO and the Bank in doing analysis that is very pertinent in helping Government make informed decisions. The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, concurs on the usefulness of the report. “The poverty mapping will enable us better target programs and scarce resources to the extremely poor households,” she says. “This is something that our Government is excited about as it is crucial if poverty is to be reduced,” she adds.The poverty mapping makes critical observations that will be handy to Government in many of its social programs. “For example, the wards with the highest poverty rates are also those with lower rates of household education, higher shares of individuals employed in the agriculture sector, and farther distances to primary and tertiary roads,” says Alejandro de la Fuente, Senior World Bank Economist and lead author of the report.Government and the World Bank will launch the report today in Lusaka. Show Less -
“It is clear that well-targeted support using the subnational poverty estimates obtained in the report would be extremely helpful in improving the allocation of resources to the poor,” said Alej... Show More +andro de la Fuente, senior World Bank economist and lead author of the report. The report also shows that there is a need to identify the areas with the largest concentration of poor people, rather than just providing analysis on poverty rates, de la Fuente said. For example, in rankings based on the percentage of the poor population, the constituency of Kapiri Mposhi ranks 101 out of 150 constituencies. However, based on the number of poor people, Kapiri Mposhi ranks first, with a total of 175,504 people living below the poverty line.Although the country has enjoyed recent economic growth of above 6%, this growth has not improved living conditions for the poor, especially for those who live in remote areas. Much of the country’s gainful economic activities are concentrated primarily in the highly-urbanized Copperbelt and Lusaka regions. As a result, Zambia has one of the highest concentrations of inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa, partly because of the huge income gap that exists between rural and urban areas.In addition to focusing on continued economic growth, the government is committed to reducing poverty through various government programs, including cash transfers which provide regular cash payments to poor households. Proposed funding for the social cash transfer program nearly tripled from K72.1 billion in FY13 to K199.2 billion in FY14, as the government plans to reach as many as 500,000 households by 2016. Show Less -
Washington, March 26, 2015 - The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$75 million in continuing support for the Fourth Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF IV) to help reduce p... Show More +overty levels for about five million poor Malawians by providing work opportunities, cash transfers, and grants to raise household incomes.The US$75 million financing brings the amount committed to the Strengthening Safety Net Systems Project otherwise called MASAF IV to US$107.8 million. Today’s additional financing provided by the International Development Association (IDA*), consists of a US$68.2 million grant and a US$6.8 million credit. The original amount of US$32.8 million was approved by the Board in December 2013.“These additional funds will help fill a financing gap to help the Government strengthen its social safety net delivery system to reach the poor with the much needed support to help them take a step further out of poverty,” says Ms. Laura Kullenberg, Country Manager for Malawi. She adds that MASAF IV will not only address household poverty but will help create community assets, strengthen the Government’s capacity to respond to vulnerability and crisis, and develop a unified registry of beneficiaries to be used by all social protection providers. MASAF IV has three components, namely, productive safety nets, systems and capacity building, and project management. The productive safety nets component is the largest and will utilize 88 percent of the additional financing. It will cover three types of safety nets. First is the productive community driven public works that would enable targeted poor households earn an income during the rounds of the program implementation while creating assets for their communities. The second safety net will be grants provided through the already popular community savings and investment promotion (COMSIP) groups to help households increase their incomes and assets. This will also come with skills training. The third type are social cash transfers targeting the most vulnerable and labor-constrained households. The cash transfers will build on already existing experience of the Government and other donor partners.Malawi’s Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Honorable Goodall Gondwe applauds the additional financing as a timely leverage to Malawi’s poverty response. “This MASAF IV funding goes to the heart of government’s thinking in cushioning the poor and improving the livelihoods of the most vulnerable as it significantly contributes to most aspects of our national social support program,” he said.The World Bank’s Team Leader for MASAF IV, Mr. Peter Pojarski says interventions for MASAF IV build on the success of previous tools such as COMSIP and will be based on an improved targeting system and mapping of activities to appropriate categories of the poor to ensure those most in need are reached. For example, cash transfers will be for the ultra-poor while public works are for the poor who are not labor constrained. MASAF IV is being implemented by the Local Development Fund Technical Support Team. The project is expected to close on June 30, 2018.About IDA* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa. Show Less -