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January 12, 2022


Living in poverty is considered as more than just the lack of income; it encompasses lack of access to healthcare, education, decent shelter and other basic services

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More Kenyans Living in Poverty – New Report Shows

More Kenyans Living in Poverty – New Report Shows

There has been a 15 percent increase in the number of Kenyans living in poverty, according to a new report.

According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fact Sheet 2021, released last Friday, the number of Kenyans living in poverty increased from 38.9% to 53% of the population between 2014 and 2018.

Living in poverty is considered as more than just the lack of income; it encompasses lack of access to healthcare, education, decent shelter and other basic services. 54 percent of women and 52 percent of men in Kenya are living in poverty while 35 percent of both genders are living below the national poverty line.

When it comes to the population living in poverty by age, children between the ages of 0-17 years are the most affected (41 percent) and those above 70 years (36 percent).

Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015. More than 700 million people, or 10 percent of the world population, still live in extreme poverty today, struggling to fulfill the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation.

Global Extreme Poverty Levels Highest in Over 20 Years

The COVID-19 pandemic is reportedly reversing some of the gains made in reducing poverty levels globally.

According to the World Bank’s The Poverty and Shared Prosperity report, global extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years owing to the disruptions brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, armed conflict and Climate change.

About 120 million people are reportedly living in poverty as a result of the pandemic, with the number expected to rise to about 150 million by the end of 2021.

The report listed Sub-Saharan Africa among emerging “hot spots,” for the “new poor” with the region now expected to be home to about a third of the people who are newly impoverished by COVID-19.

SDG 1 Targets

SDG 1 seeks to End poverty in all its forms everywhere and has five targets;

1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day

1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions

1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable

1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

1.A Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions

1.B Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions

The global SDG indicators play a very vital role in the drive for timely and reliable data and help in measuring the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals), and also hold countries accountable in achieving the SDG targets.

Kenya, through the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and UN  Women, reported 131 out of 231 SDG indicators. 42 of the 131 indicators comprise SDG gender indicators.

There is a total 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, which were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 with a collective goal to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

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