Rabat - The High Commission for Planning (HCP) has presented the main findings of its study on poverty, vulnerability and inequality, coming up with a new tool for targeting poverty based on monetary criteria, a specific instrument that would allow the government to make a better distribution of social benefits as part of its commitment in fighting poverty and social exclusion.
Rabat – The High Commission for Planning (HCP) has presented the main findings of its study on poverty, vulnerability and inequality, coming up with a new tool for targeting poverty based on monetary criteria, a specific instrument that would allow the government to make a better distribution of social benefits as part of its commitment in fighting poverty and social exclusion.
The study presents a mapping of poverty throughout all territorial units, “offering an objective outlook on the trade-offs required in the geographical and social allocation of budgetary resources for the fight against poverty and vulnerability and, more generally, for social programs, based on objective data,” said the High Commissioner for Planning, Ahmed Lahlimi Alami.
Khalid Soudi, director of the Population Living Conditions Observatory (OCVP) at the High Commission for Planning, pointed out that the new mapping of monetary poverty was prepared by the experts at the observatory through data coupling from the National Survey of Household Spending and Expenditure (ENCDM) and the General Census of Population and Housing (RGPH) in 2014.
From the new poverty mapping, it can be seen that at commune level, out of a total of 1,683 municipalities and urban centers, 39.2% have a monetary poverty rate of less than 5%, 29.8% between 5% and 10%, 23.8% between 10% and 20%, 5.1% between 20% and 30% and 2.2% higher than 30%.
The new study shows that in rural areas, “of the 1279 municipalities, the poverty rate is less than 5% in 28.5% of the communes, and between 5% and 10% in 34.4%. It fluctuates between 10% and 20% in 28.2% of communes, between 20% and 30% in 6.0%, and is greater than 30% in 2.9% of communes,” disclosed the HCP experts.
On the urban scale, the study shows that of the 404 municipalities and urban centers, 73.3% have a poverty rate of less than 5%, 15.1% a poverty rate between 5% and 10%, 9.7% % A rate between 10% and 20%, and 2.0% a rate higher than 20%, they stressed.
Reiterating the value of this work, Lahlimi said that, in the area of poverty reduction, public policies have generally remained adherent to the system of transferring budgetary resources to the whole population in a fixed manner.
While this inclusive transfer has contributed to the sharp decline in poverty and vulnerability rates, both nationally and more clearly in urban areas, the High Commissioner is convinced that “with the resources allocated to it, this transfer system failed to capitalize on the potential of the INDH approach by targeting the social categories and geographical areas that needed it most, or to ensure the sustainability of its reproduction, even less to attenuate social and territorial distortions.”
Highlighting the distortions caused by this transfer system, Lahlimi noted that work on the basis of the ENCDM showed, in this respect, that in 2014, almost 30% of budgetary subsidies for food and butane benefited 20% of households with the highest standard of living, compared with 13% for the poorest 20%, with a ratio of more than twice as high as the former. “This ratio is 2.4 times for national wheat flour, 3.4 times for sugar and 1.9 times for butane,” he added.
In the area of medical coverage, RAMED, which is intended to cover the poor and vulnerable population not covered by a health insurance system, does not escape, according to the same work, to this type of distortion. While only 26.1% of its beneficiaries came from the lowest income quintile, 7.6% belonged to the wealthiest quintile.
Beyond the system of subsidies justified by support for the most disadvantaged, the same distortions are revealed in the public’s access to the public education and training system. By social selection mechanisms, nearly 30% of secondary and higher education promotions in 2014 were in the top 20% category, compared to 10% belonging to the poorest 20%.
Faced with such widely reported distortions and obviously inherent in the general financing of social programs, there has been an increasing debate on the best formula for targeting public resources that would channel them to maximum benefit of the populations most in need.