A government report released today shows that poverty has gone up by about eight percent(8%), increasing the rate of helplessness in the country.
Done by Uganda Bureau of Statistic (UBOS), the report dubbed Uganda National Household Survey 2016/17 shows that people living in poverty now stands at 10 million up from 6.6 million. In percentage terms, that shows that poverty now stands at 27%, up from 19.7% in 2012/2013.
The report shows that eastern Uganda was the hardest hit, with poverty increasing by 27% while northern Uganda, on the other hand, came out as least affected, with people living in poverty there dropping from 3.1% to 2.4%.
Ben Paul Mungyereza, the UBOS executive director, blamed the grim figures on this year’s poor harvests prompted by drought that hit the country occasioning hunger in many parts of Uganda.
Majority of Ugandans, about 80% according to Food and Agriculture organisation, depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.
David Bahati, the state minister for planning, said: “We are going to study the results as Ministry of Finance [and figure out a way forward] since we are starting our new budgeting processing.”
Latest figures will be seen as a slap in the face for government, which has consistently made good progress, reducing poverty figures since the late 1980s.
World Bank figures show that since then Uganda reduced the share of its population living on $1.90 PPP (purchasing power parity) per day or less, from 53.2% in 2006 to 34.6% in 2013, the fastest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Purchasing power parity is the measure of a country’s currency and how much quantity of commodities each individual can buy from the market.