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Going Down

The World Bank recently reported that poverty in Albania has fallen significantly between 2002 and 2003. In 2002 25.4% of the population were defined as poor; by 2005 that figure been reduced to 18.5%. This means that 235,000 people have been lifted out of poverty. At the same time there has not been any noticable increase in income inequality. Albania's Gini coefficient has shifted only slightly over the same period - from 28.2 to 28.6.

According the World Bank, this reduction in poverty has been brought about almost entirely as a result of Albania's economic growth which has averaged 6% per year since 1998. Moreover, the Bank claims that it is the poor who have benefitted most from growth. The Bank's conclusion is that:
To maintain the momentum in poverty reduction, there is a need to remain on the reform path that has led to sustained economic growth, including maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, improving the investment climate for private sector development, governance, improving public provision of social services (education, health and social assistance) and expanding infrastructure. In addition, addressing the specific obstacles that rural populations face, will accelerate future gains in poverty reduction.
A presentation of the findings is available here.


Anonymous said…
Hehe. According to the CIA factbook, UK had 17% of its population living in poverty in 2002.

Interesting.... :D
Anonymous said…
I hate to play the eternal cynic but it is ironic to watch the WB proclaim the success of its measures. Albania was lauded by the bank a few years ago too, precisely before the 1997 collapse, and even then we were doing very well!
Anonymous said…
Nice blog, Alwyn... can you pls get in touch with me at jeffvm -at- gmail -dot- com? Thanks, Jeroen.
olli said…
Yes, the UK has a serious poverty problem especially because child poverty rates are so high. In fact poverty rates are much higher now than they were 20 years ago. As most people have gotten much wealthier, an increasing minority has been left behind.

Of course, poverty is always measured relative to income, so poor people in wealthier countries are always better off than poor people in poor countries - or even than realtively wealthy people in poor countries.

I was alao interested to note that the WB and all the other experts and advisors were no more able than the Albanian govenrment to identify and head of the power crisis in November.

Jeroen, I will be in touch.

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