October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. World Bank Belarus reflects on the progress made by the country in reducing poverty over the past decade.
1. The share of the population below the national poverty line fell from 41.9% in 2000 to 5.7% in 2016.
Belarus reduced the poverty rate faster than all other countries in the Europe and Central Asia region.
2. Belarus exhibited the highest rate of growth of expenditures of the bottom 40% of the population during the period 2006-2011.
3. The rapid poverty reduction became possible due to the growth of the country’s manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
The former was boosted by favorable energy pricing from Russia and strong economic growth in Russia and Belarus’s other trading partners.
4. 97.5% of the population with a market income below PPP US$10/day benefits from government policies of shifting money from the rich to the poor.
5. The recession in 2015-16 exposed the fragility of Belarus’s poverty achievement.
This and the aging of the population are the two factors challenging the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable shared prosperity.