Umid Aliev: The minimum consumer spending will allow measuring poverty within certain groups, for example, children

Umid Aliev: The minimum consumer spending will allow measuring poverty within certain groups, for example, children
On May 31, 2021, a preliminary estimate of the value of the minimum consumer spending of the population was announced in Uzbekistan.

It was estimated that the minimum consumption expenditures for daily food (2200 kcal) and necessary non-food goods and services will be at least 440,000 soums per person per month (taking into account changes in prices for the current year).

Umid Aliev, UNICEF Social Policy Adviser in Uzbekistan belives that setting the MCS value as a national indicator of poverty and will help solve the problem of child poverty.

UNICEF calls for the introduction of a child poverty measurement and stays ready to provide fully-fledged support in implementing it.

Determining the value of the costs of basic needs as a national poverty line plays a crucial role in setting socio-economic policy targets and in designing and implementing effective poverty reduction measures.

Introduction of a national poverty line allows measuring wellbeing of people in Uzbekistan while reflecting peculiarities of the lifestyle in the country.

Regular monitoring of poverty boosts effectiveness and efficiency of poverty reduction programs. For example, to ensure effectiveness of social benefits, it is necessary to map poor families and to examine their compositions, living conditions, and the reasons the families fell into poverty. Introduction of a poverty indicator will be instrumental in implementing these tasks. The indicator also serves as a benchmark in establishing levels of social benefits.

Additionally, determining the value of the costs of basic needs allows measuring poverty not only for the entire population but also for certain groups, for example, children. UNICEF research indicates that child poverty is of the main obstacles to human capital development.

Being stunted is a main sign of child undernourishment, which is usually caused by poverty. As research findings show income of people who suffered from being stunted in childhood is on average 26% lower than for those who did not have such problems.

For the reasons that children and youth account for a third of the population in Uzbekistan and that in 2030-2050 the country is projected to have a historical chance to reap the demographic dividend, human capital development and, therefore, child poverty reduction should be given the highest priority in the country’s socio-economic policy agenda.

"I believe that the introduction of the national poverty line will facilitate reduction of child poverty in the country, and UNICEF Country Office in Uzbekistan remains committed to provide fully-fledged support to the government in this matter" says Umid Aliev.

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