Falling incomes worsening poverty situation in Zambia – Think tank

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A local socioeconomic think tank on Wednesday said a fall in incomes and rising prices of foodstuffs have worsened the poverty situation in Zambia.

The Jesuit Center for Theological Reflections (JCTR) said the poverty headcount in Zambia has remained high at about 60 percent in 2021 with four to five households reporting a drop in income from nonfarm businesses while one to three households reported a reduction or disappearance of wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The think tank said in a statement that nine in 10 households have experienced spikes in the price of food, forcing about 64 percent of households to reduce food consumption. “The hard fact is that the number of people living in poverty in Zambia remains very high. Poverty has been one of the major barriers to human development in Zambia,” Alex Muyebe, the think-tank’s executive director, said in the statement.

He noted that there was enough evidence that the social and economic conditions of the majority in the country have not improved an inch and that the situation was getting worse.

He suggested the government should put in place measures to address the majority’s demands for affordable food and shelter, stressing that no country could achieve sustained economic growth or national development without effectively addressing widespread poverty.

Apart from jobs, people wanted decent incomes and a living wage coupled with fewer punitive taxes, he added. Enditem

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