Almost 50pc Bangladeshis still live on below $1.25 a day

August 29, 2009

Almost 50 per cent of the country’s population now live on less than $1.25 a day, a yardstick of measuring extreme poverty level in global standard, reveals the latest release of Asian Development Bank.
Bangladesh has been placed in a position just above Nepal among 20 economies of the Asia-Pacific region where over 10 per cent of the population live on $1.25 per day.
The country’s present poverty situation brings bad news for the government’s poverty eradication drives as the ruling Awami League in its election manifesto had fixed the target for reducing the poverty level to 25 per cent and the size of ultra poor to 15 per cent by 2013.
In terms of the people’s purchasing power among 39 economies of the region, the country’s per capita gross domestic product is 60 times less than that of Singapore, which tops the list. Fourth from the below in the ranking, Bangladesh is above Afghanistan, Nepal and Timor-Leste, said the ADB ‘Key Indicators 2009’ released on Wednesday.
The country’s rate of mortality of children under five years of age is slightly below 50 per 1,000 and the rate of infant mortality almost 60 per 1,000, as per the indicators the ADB prepared on the basis of government statistics. Also, the rate of population aged 65 years and above is less than 5 per cent in Bangladesh compared to over 20 per cent in Japan.
The rate of urban households living without access to improved sanitation is about 52 per cent in Bangladesh, the fourth worst performer, followed by India with close to 50 per cent population having no access to improved sanitation.
In ‘digital divide’ among the Asian nations, Bangladesh is one of the most backward countries where far less than 10 per cent of the population have access to internet. Hardly one per cent of the citizens currently have access to internet, said the ADB release reflecting the key economic and social development indicators, including the UN Millennium Development Goals.
However, considering migrant workers’ remittances among 20 Asian countries, Bangladesh ranks fourth receiving about $10 billion per year, after India, China and the Philippines. Globally, Bangladesh, which sent around 5.8 million workers overseas in 2008, is among the top 10 remittance-receiving countries.
The country is one of the worst performers in terms of costing business, measured in terms of registering a new business, as it takes over 75 days to register a business discouraging the foreign and domestic investors alike, the report said.
Bangladesh is not in the list of 16 countries which attracted foreign direct investment worth over $1 billion per year between 2006 and 2008.
The country is also not in the list of culprits numbering 11 countries that emit huge quantity of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. The report shows that emission of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in 2005 were more than 7 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by China, almost 2.5 billion tonnes by India and about 1.5 billion tonnes by Japan.

Original Article on NewAgebd

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