Wednesday, September 19, 2007
An overview of poverty in Asia points to the use of income as a measure in reducing poverty. This use, nonetheless, is problematic because the quality of life like education should be considered. However, major policies affecting poverty alleviation make use of the human development index such as literacy, health and other social indicators in determining whether poverty is actually being reduced. It makes sense to eliminate the use of income as measure sinceit is possible that high income does not necessarily sustain the people’s living. If the cost of living is high or the population is burgeoning, it is still probable that a country will continue to languish in poverty. Reports show that there is a considerable range of changes in the face of poverty in Asia in comparison to other countries in Latin America or Africa, an indication that the introduction of human development index in studying poverty alleviation in Asia is working.
The discussion in the paper’s first section shows that there is still a high incidence of poverty in Asia, although in recent years many changes have been introduced like eliminating the head-count ratio in relation to distribution of income under the poverty line. The changes in this, nevertheless, include the improvement in the distribution of income in Asian countries, manifesting an actual reduction of poverty. This only means that poverty reduction was made possible by the significant ascent of growth rate of income per person. It is possible too that government policies have created an impact in helping avoid the deterioration of income distribution.
According to the presentation in the World Development Report 1990, the stress is on the income measure of poverty in Asia.The use of human development or social indicators and their comparability with the income measures show that poverty reduction can be done by improving indeces of human development, namely literacy, food policy, health services and the like. It is reported to affect directly the population’s quality of life. This, therefore, should be considered in upgrading social indicators and,eventually, poverty alleviation.
The issues relating the poverty alleviation in agricultural and non-agricultural development are important in order to view these development’s roles in reducing poverty. Asia is dominated by agriculture so modernizing it by introducing new technology, distribution and labor use can significantly increase the income of farmers, who are among the sectors peopling the poverty line. The creation of labor and the government expenditure in rural construction contribute to agricultural growth. Meanwhile, employment in the non-agricultural sector should be large enough in order to accommodate the most number of functioning labor force. Reducing unemployment in the urban sector is a means of alleviating poverty. Targeted programs of poverty reduction pose probable problems even as they are tasked at increasing the income of the poor.
Poverty in Asia, including in my own state, should not only focus on increasing income levels since the quality of life should be of prime consideration in reducing poverty. Satisfaction cannot rest alone on income measure but must be considered in relation to human development such as literacy, health, food distribution and mortality.