Poverty across the agro-ecological zones in rural Pakistan
Poverty has increased during the 90s overall as well as in rural and urban areas, after experiencing downward trends during the 80s. Besides, the gap between rural and urban poverty has also widened. The recent estimates show that more than one-third of our population lives in extreme poverty, and around 70% of these unfortunate people reside in rural areas. The results based on agro-ecological divisions of the country indicate that poverty is lowest in the barani areas of the Punjab because of better opportunities in terms of employment in other sectors, particularly, the services sector as well as overseas migration. The highest is observed in Balochistan may be due to nonavailability of irrigation water and low rainfall making dwellers more vulnerable to droughts seriously affecting the crops and the livestock which are the main sources of their livelihood. Poverty is widely spread in irrigated areas of the country particularly in Southern Punjab and Sindh where feudal system still prevails. Job opportunities outside agriculture are limited and migration within the country or overseas is not a common phenomenon in these areas of the country.
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