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42% of Ugandans living a deprived life: UBOS

UBOS boss Chris Mukiza (R) addressing the press. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s first ever multidimensional poverty index report for 2021, has revealed that up to 42.1 percent of Uganda’s population lack in several socials and economic aspects of a normal human life.

The survey conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, took into consideration a number of aspects including access to education, health services, quality of living standards, as well as employment and financial inclusion levels, to ascertain what kind of lifestyle Ugandans are living. 18 million people were found to be deprived in one or more of these aspects.

Amos Lugoloobi, the Finance and Economic Planning State Minister has indicated that the report is helping the government to better understand the country’s poverty status, under more diverse indicators not limited to income levels which have been the only determinant of all the previous reports.

To Lugoloobi, basing on this report, the fight against poverty in Uganda is still a very big challenge, and the poverty distribution is something to keep a keen eye on.

Lugoloobi explained: “The report helps the policymakers to understand which region needs what and how because it is more elaborate, and is bringing in new dimensions on how to approach the fight against poverty and it has to be critically examined at higher technical and policy levels to understand how it is impacting on the implementation of the parish development model.”

Chris Mukiza, the executive director of UBOS, says that the findings of this report reveal what is going on in the Ugandan population, adding that the 18 million are multidimensionally poor in either two or more of the aspects that were considered in the research, which are the determinants of a human being’s wellbeing to enable prosperity. He adds that 14.7% of them are deprived of an income, meaning they are extremely poor in all dimensions of poverty.

According to Mukiza, this group of Ugandans are below extreme poverty which is determined by the absolute poverty line measure, of less than a dollar a day. To him, one could survive income poverty but remain poor in other social-economic dimensions.

This report comes barely three months after President Museveni announced that Uganda has entered the middle-income status with a per capita income of 1,046 USD in the financial year 2021/22, and the report put the country’s income poverty levels at 20.3 percent in 2019/20, down from 56 percent in 1992/93.

At the launch of the report, Elsie Attafuah, the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) representative says the report is a very big milestone in the fight against poverty in Uganda, and the government has the responsibility of coming up with deliberated interventions to address the poverty issue in all its dimension.

Attafuah highlights numerous interventions like improved regional trading, embracing industrialization wholeheartedly, improving tourism, universal energy access as well as deliberate private sector development.

From the report, Karamoja is the most deprived region, followed by Acholi and the greater north, whereas Kampala and Buganda are at the bottom of the table.

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