Poverty profiles and coping strategies of the haor (ox-bow lake) households in Bangladesh
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The study examines the depth and severity of poverty and coping strategies of 4065 households from 30 haor (ox-bow lake) areas from six north-eastern districts of Bangladesh. Results revealed that 29.6% and 43.0% of the surveyed households were below the lower and upper poverty lines based on Cost of Basic Needs (CBN) method. The depth of poverty was estimated at 7.6% and 12.4% and the severity of poverty at 3.0% and 5.2%, respectively based of lower and upper poverty line estimates, which were substantially higher than the national average for rural areas of Bangladesh. Poverty is relatively higher for the households characterized by landlessness, large family size, lacking durable assets, poor housing and sanitation, NGO membership, wage labour and illiterate heads. Loans from moneylenders and/or relatives, reduction of monthly expenditure and asset sale were the main coping strategies. Policy implications include land reform and tenurial policies aimed at smooth functioning of the land rental market; provision of collateral free credit; investments in employment and income generation activities; provision of skills training; targeted education programs and increased coverage of safety net programs in order to reduce poverty of these highly vulnerable haor residents.
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