• Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:33 am

Survey: Poverty being politicized

  • Published at 11:46 pm December 11th, 2019
street children
They shouldn’t be working Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

According to the survey, influence of the MPs, which was present but limited in 2017, started increasing significantly in 2018

Members of Parliament (MPs) are heavily influencing beneficiary selection process of the Social Safety Net Program (SSNP), suggests a recent survey conducted by Right to Food Bangladesh, European Union, and World Vision.

Researcher, Asif M Shahan revealed the results of the survey in a program titled “Role of Social Safety Net Program in Eradicating Poverty of Poor People : Experience of EVAPRA Project” in Dhaka on Wednesday.

According to the survey, influence of the MPs, which was present but limited in 2017, started increasing significantly in 2018.

At the same time, some of them are diverting more resources to their constituencies to support their electoral coalition.

The survey also revealed that the poor are being divided into two – Awami League’s poor and BNP’s poor – even though all of them are eligible for the SSNP.

Asif M Shahan said: “Political leaders select their preferred candidates while sacrificing the more deserving ones, which was noticeable in 2017 but has increased remarkably in 2018, the year of the national election.”

As per the survey, several districts have a very high percentage of the population living in poverty: Kurigram has the highest with 71%, followed by Dinajpur at 64.3%, Bandarban 63.2%, while eastern districts are performing better than the western ones.

SSNP is not reaching some of these places where the poverty rate is very high and even in this condition, 46% of the beneficiaries of SSNP are actually ineligible for the program, as stated by the survey.

Referring to poverty as the major problem of the country, chief guest of the program Planning Minister MA Mannan said: “Inequality of wealth has increased recently while poverty has decreased due to poor people utilizing their own lands."

Economist Prof MM Akash said more investment in social safety activities are needed to reach the goal of a poverty free country.

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