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PPRC-BIGD Survey: 52% urban, 36% rural people take loans during shutdown

  • Published at 02:56 pm April 19th, 2020
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According to the findings of the survey, economic activities dropped by 71% in urban and 55% in rural areas

To meet daily expenses, 52% population in urban and 36% in rural areas took loans following the countrywide shutdown enforced by the government to halt the spread of coronavirus, a survey revealed.

According to the findings of the survey, economic activities dropped by 71% in urban and 55% in rural areas. 

The survey, titled "Poverty Trends under Covid-19: Sharing Findings from PPRC-BIGD Rapid Response Survey," was unveiled through an online media briefing recently.

It was jointly conducted by the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD). A total of 5,471 respondents were reached through telephone from April 4 to April 12. 

BIGD Executive Director Dr Imran Matin, citing conversation with some families, said many had been using their savings while some borrowing money to run families. 

Dr Imran also said: "As the estimation was done on April 12 and a couple of days have already passed by this time, therefore the poor have already started experiencing a food crisis."

Former adviser to caretaker government and PPRC Executive Chairman Hossain Zillur Rahman said a huge number of poor people would face food crisis at the end of this month (April) and they needed assistance.

"The traditional relief assistance of the government will not be enough to fight the present situation. This requires a different type of thinking,” he added.

He insisted on resuming the open market sale (OMS) scheme for low-income people to address the economic hit of the Covid-19.

The survey recommended for introducing a monthly food security support package of Tk5,600 crore for the poor and an additional package for the new poor.

Other findings

The survey says 67% urban slum and 82% rural people are surviving on family savings during this pandemic.   

As per the findings, food consumption capacity also reduced by 40% for the poor and 35% for the vulnerable poor.

The new poor are those who were 40% above the poverty line, but have fallen below the line following the crisis, explain the organizers.

Of the respondents, the main source of income for 40.32% is casual labour, 29.23% is salaried labour, 17.84% run small businesses, 9.14% depend on agriculture and livestock rearing and the income source for the remaining 3.47% is other activities.

The survey showed that drop in the per capita food expenditure fell 24% in rural and 32% in urban areas.

It also showed that daily income of the poverty-stricken population in the country plummeted by 76% during the first week of April compared to that of February’s.

As of Sunday, Bangladesh has reported 91 deaths and 2,456 cases of Covid-19.

The fast-spreading virus has claimed over 160,800 lives globally and infected more than 2,332,560 people, according to Worldometers.

As many as 600,115 people have also recovered from Covid-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, which has spread to 210 countries and territories across the globe.

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