LILONGWE, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Malawi has reduced extreme poverty levels by at least 4 percent between 2011 and 2017, according to an Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) released by the country's National Statistical Office (NSO).
A report which was released Tuesday in the country's capital Lilongwe indicated that the most significant decline in poverty levels was observed in the country's rural as compared to urban areas.
Acting Chief Director in the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Peter Simbani, said the findings would enable government to plan better how best to address the challenge in line with the country's medium development framework.
He said: "The country experienced various types of shocks between 2010 and 2016, in particular floods and drought which led to macroeconomic instability.
"These shocks had direct impact on agricultural production which is the main contributor to our GDP and as a result of this, the economy grew at a slower pace from 6.2 percent in 2014, 3.3 percent in 2015, to 2.7 percent in 2017 so it is important to understand the poverty numbers within that context."
Rural areas indicate a decline from 28.1 percent in the year 2010/2011 to 23.8 percent in the the year 2016/2017 while urban Malawi shows a slight decline from 4.3 percent to 4.1 percent indicating an overall national decline of 24.5 percent to 20.1 percent.
During the presentation of the report, NSO's Assistant Commissioner of Statistics, who was also Survey Coordinator during the ISH 4, Lizzie Chikoti, said the decline in the poverty levels among the rural masses was a result of government's social protection programs.
She said: "Preliminary analysis suggests that some of government's social protection programs and the post-2016 food security responses have reduced the adverse effects of drought on welfare among eligible extremely poor households."
The first Integrated Household Survey (IHS1) was conducted in 1997/1998, and since then, the exercise has been taking place every five years.
The recent IHS1 has been funded by World Bank and Millennium Challenge Account.