UNITED NATIONS: Five out of six multidimensionally poor people in India are from lower tribes or castes, according to a new analysis on global multidimensional poverty released by the United Nations on Thursday.
The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative said this in its latest report on poverty.
In India, five out of six multidimensionally poor people are from lower tribes or castes. The Scheduled Tribe group accounts for 9.4 per cent of the population and is the poorest, with 65 million of the 129 million people living in multidimensional poverty.
They account for about one-sixth of all people living in multidimensional poverty in India, it said.
Following the Scheduled Tribe group is the Scheduled Caste group with 33.3 per cent -- 94 million of 283 million people -- living in multidimensional poverty.
The report further said that 27.2 per cent of the Other Backward Class group -- 160 million of 588 million people -- lives in multidimensional poverty, showing a lower incidence but a similar intensity compared with the Scheduled Caste group.
Overall, five out of six multidimensionally poor people in India live in households whose head is from a Scheduled Tribe, a Scheduled Caste or Other Backward Class, it said.
Among the 1.3 billion multidimensionally poor people studied globally, almost two-thirds -- 836 million -- live in households in which no female member has completed at least six years of schooling.
This exclusion of women from education has far-reaching impacts on societies around the world.
These 836 million people live mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa (363 million) and South Asia (350 million).
Seven countries account for more than 500 million of them: India (227 million), Pakistan (71 million), Ethiopia (59 million), Nigeria (54 million), China (32 million), Bangladesh (30 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 million).
According to the report, the top five countries with the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty are in India (2015/16) at 381 millions, Nigeria (2018): 93 million, Pakistan (2017/18): 83 million, Ethiopia (2019): 77 million, Democratic Republic of the Congo (2017/18): 56 million.
The findings in this report are a call to action for policymakers everywhere. Across the 5. 9 billion people who live in the 109 countries studied, more than one in five -- 1.3 billion -- live in multidimensional poverty.
Half of global multidimensionally poor people are children. And although prepandemic multidimensional poverty levels were declining, the poorest countries lacked emergency social protections during the COVID-19 pandemic and could suffer the most, the report said.
It said that about 16 million multidimensionally poor men and children (0.3 per cent of the total population) live in households without a woman or girl age 10 or older.
But nearly half of multidimensionally poor people who live with a woman or a girl -- 622 million -- live in households in which no one, regardless of gender, has completed six or more years of schooling.
In India, close to 12 per cent of the population -- 162 million people -- live in female-headed households.
One in six multidimensionally poor people -- 207 million -- across 108 countries live in female-headed households.
Nearly a quarter of them live in India, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda are together home to another quarter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has eroded development progress around the world, and we are still grappling to understand its full impacts," says Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.
"This year's Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reminds us of the need for a complete picture of how people are being affected by poverty, who they are and where they live, if we are to build forward better from this crisis and design effective responses that leave no one behind, the UNDP Administrator added.