Diverty And Poverty In Malawi

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Malawi is one of the least developed countries, ranked 162 out of 175 in the Human Development Index (UNDP, 2009). According to the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) conducted by National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2011, 50.7 percent of the population in Malawi is living under the poverty line. Government of Malawi (GoM, 2007) indicates that 17 percent of the total population is ultra-poor. More than 91 percent of the poor live in rural areas. According to Conroy et al (2006) Malawi is largely a rural economy, nearly 85percent of the population lives in the rural areas and only 10 percent of the population is engaged in the formal sector employment. Almost half of the poor households are self-employed and agriculture is their predominant economic activity for the rural poor. Several indicators highlight poverty in Malawi. These are acute and wide spread household food insecurity, (49 percent of the Malawian population is deemed food insecure), low literacy rate (35 percent of the population of Malawi is illiterate), low life expectancy and low quality of education. The Proportion of the poor households is higher in the Southern region (63 percent) than in the Central region and Northern region, 49 percent and 60 percent respectively. (NSO, 2011) In addition to this poor economic index Malawi’s per capita income is estimated at US$ 190 one of the least in the world. The per capita income has grown only by 0.2 percent per annum over the past 30 years despite attempts by the

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