This paper discusses the different dimensions of poverty, with a particular
focus on non-monetary aspects, and describes the limitations and inaccuracies
inherent in the US$ 1 a day poverty line now widely used in cross-country
comparisons. It highlights how little attention is given to the aspects of
poverty that most affect children and explains why addressing these issues is an
effective approach to poverty reduction. The authors discuss why economic growth
during the 1990s failed to produce the hoped-for decline in the incidence of
poverty in most nations and report, for example, on the existence of disparities
as well as on the advantages of extending provision of basic services to all.
Whilst on the one hand, economic growth has not necessarily reduced the
incidence of (monetary and non-monetary) poverty, on the other, reductions in poverty
been achieved in some cases without waiting for economic growth. Countries with
comparable per capita incomes, for instance, can show considerable variation in
under-five mortality rates.
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