Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese National Planning and Economic Development Minister Tin Naing Thein said on Monday that poverty in Burma fell by 6 per cent in five years, citing a UN survey.
Minister Tin Naing Thein, citing the Integrated Household Living Conditions Assessment, told a national level workshop on poverty in Naypyitaw that the survey was conducted by the United Nations Development Porgramme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The joint survey was taken two times, in 2004-05 and 2009-10, by collecting data from a total of 18,660 households.
‘Poverty has been drastically alleviated in Burma’, said Minister Tin Naing Thein, who is also the Minister of Fishery and Livestock.
He told the New Light of Myanmar newspaper, ‘We learned that poverty in Burma fell from 32 per cent in the 2004-05 fiscal year to 26 per cent in the 2009-10 fiscal year’.
However, the Thailand-based Burma analyst Aung Thu Nyein said, ‘The statistics in Burma are unreliable. The UNDP conducted the survey using a sampling methodology. It we really want poverty alleviation in the country, we must find out the real and genuine statistics. We should not be complacent with this figure of a 6 per cent fall in poverty. We know the real situation of our country.’
He also said that a national census was crucial to determine the correct figure for the population and other statistics.
The New Light of Myanmar also reported an increase in the net school enrolment rate, vaccinations of under-5-year-olds against measles, births using skilled medical staff, access to safe drinking water, and a decrease in hunger.
Professor Paul Shaffer of Trent University of Canada presented reports on poverty conditions assessment, data on the new millennium vision and poverty movement, and senior UN technical adviser Sten Backlund reported on statistical assessments and goals, the paper reported.