One million poor,
highest rate in Bekaa
Average consumption is $5,200 per year
There were one million poor people in the country in the 2011-2012 period or 27 percent of the country’s population, according to a recent poverty study published by the local Central Administration for Statistics (CAS) and the World Bank.
Poverty rates are particularly high among informal daily, weekly, and self-employed workers in the agriculture and construction sectors, according to the report. The poverty rate for non-Lebanese is higher, reaching 55 percent. The findings are based on the 2011-2012 Household Budget Survey (HBS). The average level of consumption per person is about $5,200 per year.
The highest occurrence of poverty was discovered in the Bekaa (38 percent) and in the North (36 percent). The lowest poverty rate was recorded in Beirut where 16 percent of the people were poor, and Nabatieh (25 percent).
Haneen Sayed, the World Bank’s Program Leader for Poverty and Social Protection said this survey will be used as a baseline by the authorities to assess new levels of poverty. The data and analysis could be beneficial to assess the possible change in poverty levels in subsequent years, especially since the number of Syrian refugees has escalated since the survey was taken, she said.
Sayed said that the new poverty estimates, combined with the 2011 HBS data, allow us to update the formula to determine eligibility for the Government’s National Poverty Targeting Program, thereby improving our ability to deliver benefits to those most in need. This program, already under execution, aims to identify the poorest communities and help them address their most urgent needs.
The report shows that 25 percent of female adults (15-65) work, against 67 percent of men in the same age bracket. Almost half the women in the 25-34 age bracket are working.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Dec 16, 2015