Executive Summary of the “Poverty, Growth & Inequality” Report
In the context of preparing for the launching of the “Poverty, Growth & Inequality” Report, the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Social Affairs issued the Report’s executive summary.
The current report, “Poverty, Growth and Inequality in Lebanon,” is the first of its kind in Lebanon. It calculates a national poverty line based on household expenditures and relies on the expenditure data from the 2004/05 National Survey of Household Living Conditions and provides a comprehensive overview of the characteristics of the poor and estimates the poverty gap and Gini Coefficient that is used to measure inequality.
This seminal study is directed towards decision-makers, forming a basis for considering and choosing from among development policy and investment options those which promote poverty reduction, inclusiveness, equity and regional balance. It also aims to spur further research and analyses, as well as to inform development practitioners.
The report is expected to directly contribute to the reform processes launched by the Government of Lebanon at the Paris III donor conference in January 2007. The Government’s medium-term reform programme includes, for the first time, a Social Action Plan that places the objective of poverty reduction, social justice and equity at the heart of the reform process.
The Social Action Plan focuses on pursuing a coordinated inter-ministerial approach to improving efficiency, cost effectiveness and coverage in the delivery of social services, including better targeted safety nets for the most deprived and vulnerable population groups.
The study also calls for the elaboration of a comprehensive and longer-term Social Development Strategy that consolidates the inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral coherence needed for a concerted effort to achieve the targets set for reducing poverty and regional disparities as intrinsic and essential factors for attaining inclusive and sustained economic growth, social equity and social justice.