Uganda Poverty Status Report 2014 launched

Dec 8, 2014

Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister of Uganda and Ms. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance holding the Uganda Poverty Status report after launching it. With them are the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie (left) and Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Finance (right).

Kampala - The Uganda’s Poverty Status Report 2014 shows poverty in the country is on a downward spiral while the middle class has more than tripled over the last two decades with its share doubling the poor.

Presenting the report during the 2014 Budget Conference, Joseph Enyimu, an economist from Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Planning said that the national poverty rate fell to 19.7% in the 2012/2013 financial year from 24.5% in 2009/2010.

He also noted that poverty in rural areas had also fallen by almost two-thirds to 22.3% in 2012/13 from 60.4% in 1992/93. The share of the vulnerable non-poor fell in urban areas but rose in rural areas.There was almost no change in urban poverty in those years.

The report which was launched on 5th December shows that the middle class has increased to 37% in 2012 from 10.2% in 1992. This however comes with challenges and demands for better services.

The report also reveals that whereas poverty levels are dropping, about 43.3% of the non-poor are classified as insecure, up from 33.4% in 1992.

Enyimu said the main drivers of poverty reduction where the agriculture sector, growth of non-farm household enterprises and improved infrastructure such as roads, rural electrification and the new Information and Communications technologies (ICTs) like mobile phones which have increased money transactions.

Speaking at the launch of the report UNDP’s Resident Representative said that although the report also revealed that whereas Uganda’s poverty levels are dropping it was important to note that the reduction in poverty levels is not equitable, and disparities still exist across regions.

“For instance,” she said, “the northern and eastern regions continue to have higher poverty levels in the forties and twenties respectively in comparison to other parts of the country; just as poverty is more endemic in rural areas compared to urban centres.”

Ms. Eziakonwa added that Uganda deserves credit for its progress with some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as halving poverty.

It’s also on track to achieve the target for school enrollment, reduction in child mortality, access to water, promotion of gender equality and women empowerment.

“However, primary completion rate is slow while reproductive health, maternal mortality, and HIV/AIDS are still lagging behind and require more effort to accelerate their progress as we move to embrace the second generation of the global post 2015 development agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.

She also called on Government to build people’s resilience across board to reduce their vulnerability to natural and man-made shocks.

“There is need to increase productivity of all sectors, ensure investment in value addition especially in agriculture, create an environment for industrialization, and improve social service delivery by enhancing and strengthening Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to help drive innovation and investment. In doing this, we must ensure that people remain at the centre of these developments efforts, more especially the youth, women and the marginalised,” she said.

The poverty status report whose compilation was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was launched by Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister of Uganda, together with the Minister of Finance, Ms. Maria Kiwanuka.

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