Business Times

Poverty reduction in most parts of the country: CEPA

The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), in its 2009 annual report, noted that available data indicates poverty reduction in many parts of the country, but injustices continue to exist. “In 2009, poverty figures from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2006/7 of the Department of Census and Statistics show a radical reduction in poverty in most parts of the country,” said the CEPA annual report.

The exception to this trend has been the Nuwara Eliya district, where the head count index of poverty has increased since 2002, and the estate sector, where a similar trend has been observed. The next Census in 2011 is expected to fill in gaps in the existing poverty data by including the north and east.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is also showing favourable progress in achieving the targets set as Millennium Development Goals (MDG), said the CEPA. However, the organisation noted that despite these wholesome indicators, injustices continue to exist.

“In our work, despite the changes in macro poverty indicators, the end of the war, and the positive progress towards the MDGs, we see that injustices continue to exist; that there are groups of people who have not been able to pull themselves out of poverty for a myriad of reasons and others who become impoverished as a result of actions (or inactions) of development actors,” said the CEPA.

The organisation says its work has highlighted issues of equity in service provision, and the importance of institutions in providing support to peoples’ efforts to move themselves out of poverty and to supporting the most vulnerable. The organisation has also begun to look at the environments in which poor people live and try to understand how changes in climate affect their potential to sustain their often fragile livelihoods.

The CEPA which is now 10 years old says it plans to introduce a new strategy for the future.
“We go into our second decade with a new strategy, working on five thematic areas of post conflict development, infrastructure, vulnerability, climate change and migration, and continuing our role as providers of well researched information to those colleagues in government, NGO or private sector that are working on the more practical aspects of ‘delivering’ development,” said CEPA.

CEPA has also been successful in receiving four years support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)’s Think Tank Initiative.

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