Poverty, mountain poverty?

ICIMOD is an interesting concept; an NGO set up to advocate on behalf of mountain people. What are the experiences and conditions of economically-deprived people that live in mountains and how does that differ from those in more accessible terrain?

Understanding Mountain Poverty in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas

Around 211 million people reside in the greater Himalayan region, but there is a lack of cohesive information on their socioeconomic status. In general, issues such as whether, how, and why mountain poverty differs from national poverty remain unaddressed.

This report attempts to identify, understand, and statistically substantiate the specificity of mountain poverty. It presents poverty profiles and trends for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan based on analysis of nationally representative livelihood survey data, and for China and Myanmar based on assessment of secondary data.

The findings establish the first empirical evidence across the eight Himalayan nations that poverty in the mountains is different from and (in all cases except India) higher than that in other geographic areas. The study demonstrates that, with the exception of the area investigated in India, poverty in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan mountain areas is high and persistent. Trend analysis was only possible in the case of Nepal, but this helped build the argument for persistent poverty.

The study found that poor infrastructure, lack of access to basic facilities, and unfavourable household composition were key characteristics of the poorest mountain areas in the region. The research analyses the causes of poverty in the mountains and provides statistically significant results for policy makers and development planners, showing that in these countries there is a high concentration of poverty determinants in mountain areas compared to that in other geographic areas.

Understanding Mountain Poverty in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas : Regional Report for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan (2011)

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