17 Jun - 2 min read
Malaysia’s poverty rate has shot up to 8.4% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed economic affairs minister Mustapa Mohamed. In 2019, the poverty rate stood at 5.6%.
These measures of poverty are based on the updated poverty line income methodology of 2019 (PGK 2019). Based on this same measure, the poverty line would have been at 7.6% in 2016.
According to Mustapa, the pandemic had caused disruptions to people’s income, leading to many more households being exposed to poverty. This is especially for those in the B40 and most vulnerable categories. However, said Mustapa, Malaysia had been overall successful in managing poverty and improving the quality of life.
The minister highlighted issues such as malnutrition, the increasing burden of healthcare, the digital divide, inequality, environmental concerns, and inclusive development as the biggest challenges in the government’s agenda of eradicating poverty by 2030.
In an effort to formulate strategies on the best way forward to manage poverty during the pandemic, the government will be setting up the Poverty Circle, consisting of representatives from the government, private sector, civil society, and academics. It will be coordinated by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department for Economic Affairs.
Besides that, Mustapa also said that Malaysia had sent its Voluntary National Review 2021 (VNR 2021) to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations, to be held in July. The VNR 2021 highlights the nation’s progress in achieving all 17 of the sustainable development goals for the period of 2016 to 2019/2020.
(Source: Free Malaysia Today)
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