Poverty is often associated with a lack of financial resources to provide for daily necessities, but the reality is that human life can be beaten down in many ways not captured by income.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) serves to measure the wide range of deprivations that the poor suffer by using microeconomic data to reflect education, health, and living conditions. These include basic needs like electricity, sanitation, water, cooking oil, and financial assets, revealing a more comprehensive picture of poverty.
A person might have US$1.90, US$3.20, or even US$5.50 to get by on every day, but one might also lack access to a working toilet, clean drinking water, or a reliable source of electricity for preserving and cooking food. Poor living conditions might also impact their long-term health or deny them opportunities for education and employment. In India, for instance, children living just above the IPL have a 60 percent chance of being malnourished, a state which can stunt both physical and mental development in the long run.
It’s important to recognise that poverty lines are simply the surface of a problem with much deeper and far-reaching consequences—especially when climate change enters the picture.