The Place of Macroeconomic Policies in Poverty Eradication in Nigeria

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction Poverty is a multidimensional social phenomenon that can be analytically divided into two main dimensions: income poverty, which is the lack of income necessary to satisfy basic needs; and human poverty which is the lack of human capabilities for example poor life expectancy, poor maternal health, illiteracy, poor nutritional levels, poor access to safe drinking water and perceptions of well-being (UNDP, 2003). However, at the most basic level, education and health are typical correlates of income poverty with the causality running either way. Poverty amid plenty is the world’s greatest challenge. Poor people live without fundamental freedom of action and choice that the better take for granted. They often lack adequate food and shelter, education and health, deprivations that keep them from leading the kind of life that every one values. They also face extreme vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, and natural disasters. And they are often exposed to ill treatment by institutions of the state and society and are powerless to influence key decisions affecting their lives. These are all dimensions of poverty (World Bank, 2001). Indeed, of the world’s over 6 billion people, over 2.8 billion live on less than $2 a day, and over 1.2 billion live on less than $1 a day. In rich countries less than 1 child in 100 does not reach its fifth birthday, while in the poorest countries as many as a fifth of children do not. And while in rich countries fewer than 5 percent of all children under five are malnourished, in poor countries as many as 50 percent are. One route for investigating the causes of poverty is to examine the dimensions highlighted by poor people. These include the lack of income and assets to attain basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing and acceptable levels of health and education); sense of

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