More than one-third of Jordanians live below poverty line, report finds

amman winter poor
An individual in poverty scouring garbage bins in search for tin cans.(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — A recent report released by the World Bank has unveiled the distressing reality that over one-third of Jordan's population lives below the poverty line.اضافة اعلان

According to the report titled "Atlas of the Sustainable Development Goals for the year 2023," an estimated 35 percent of the total population in Jordan, or approximately 3.980 million people out of 11.3 million, are classified as poor.

The World Bank has set the poverty line per capita in Jordan at $7.9 per day.

Comparing these figures with previous government estimates, which were released by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for  Economic Affairs Nasser Shraideh, the poverty rates are now higher by 11 percent.

In 2021, Shraideh reported a poverty rate of 24 percent in Jordan, according to Al-Ghad News.

The rising poverty rates and its implications
The report highlights the alarming data, revealing that a third of Jordanians fall under the poverty line, which is estimated at JD168 per month.

This figure represents a significant increase from JD100 in 2018, as determined by the Household Expenditure and Income Survey for 2017–2018 conducted by the Department of Statistics.

Various global events in the past five years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, along with subsequent inflationary pressures, have influenced food prices worldwide.

This may have contributed to the notable rise in poverty rates locally. The World Bank had previously predicted that the Jordanian poverty rate would increase by approximately 11 percent in 2021 due to the effects of the virus, reaching 27 percent.

Persistently increasing poverty rates
The Kingdom of Jordan has witnessed successive increases in poverty rates over the past two decades. In 2018, the poverty rate was estimated at 15.7 percent, compared to 14.4 percent in 2010, 13.3 percent in 2008, and 13 percent in 2006.

The report highlights that unless the world's poorest countries experience unprecedented growth, they are unlikely to achieve the first goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is to end poverty by 2030.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global increase in poverty. In 2020 alone, the number of people living in "extreme poverty" increased by approximately 70 million, representing an 11 percent rise compared to 2019. Current projections indicate that by 2030, around 574 million people, or roughly 7 percent of the world's population, will still live in extreme poverty.

The report further warns that uneven economic recovery, rising food prices, and conflicts among major food producers could impede progress in eradicating poverty. Despite a decrease of approximately 66 percent in the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide between 1990 and 2019, from 2 billion to about 660 million, the global population has increased by nearly 2.4 billion during the same period.

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