Claim: The Government of Liberia Reduced Extreme Poverty By 8% Over The Last Years

Full Text: The Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism took to its official Facebook page to highlight the Weah’s administration achievements in the last five years (2018-2022) in which it claimed that the government was able to reduce extreme poverty by 8% in 2022 as compared to the previous regime since he assumed office in 2018.

The Ministry’s list of achievements comes days before President Weah’s sixth Annual Message on January 30, 2023, otherwise called the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The first was delivered in January 2018, a week after his inauguration as Liberia’s 25th President.

It is in line with Article 58 of the Constitution of Liberia, which states, “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic, the report shall cover expenditure and income.”

The Ministry claim, “The government of Liberia reduced extreme poverty by 8% over the last year, data from the world poverty lab.”

Verification: The government unveiled the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development 2018 to 2023 (PAPD).

It is the second in the 5-year National Development Plans (NDP) anticipated under the Liberia Vision 2030 framework. 

It follows the Agenda for Transformation 2012-2017 (AfT). It is also informed by lessons learned from implementing the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy 2007 (iPRS) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011).

The fundamentals underpinning the PAPD are i) Liberia is rich in human and natural resources, but ii) it is deprived of development largely because its human capital lacks the knowledge to transform the natural resources into wealth—whether through farming, mining, fishing, or other productive ventures that require technology or financial investments.

According to Poverty Lab 2022, our investigation places the population at 5,3343,515, even though the 2022 census result is yet to be published.

The poverty Lab report shows that  people living in extreme poverty are 1,865,224 constitute 35%.

People living in extreme poverty in 2017 were 1,658,482 (36%) and the threshold in rural areas was 1,449,695 (69%) and the urban regions amounted to 254,923 (9%) Poverty Lab.

The data shows one percent reduction in poverty as compared to 2017. 

The African Development Bank states that Extreme poverty remained high, at 43.0% in 2021, marking just a 1.0% decline from 2020.

While the Human Development Report refers to 2019/2020 estimates 52.3 percent of the population in Liberia (2,662 thousand people in 2020) is multidimensionally poor.

An additional 23.3 percent is classified as vulnerable to multidimensional poverty (1,186 thousand people in 2020). 

Conclusion:  As per our research, the information by the government that it has reduced extreme poverty by 8% over the last year is False.


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