Multidimensional Poverty in Syria

A comparative research 2001 and 2009


This report analyzes the human development situation during the period 2001 to 2009 in Syria, based on people-centered development concept, to identify the main improvements and challenges of development strategy in terms of enhancing people capabilities and functionings. In this regard, the report constructed Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

The report aims to measure incidence (H) and intensity (A) of poverty across dimensions, time, and regions, depending on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) methodology prepared by OPHI.

The report shows that Syria has seen improvements in human development dimensions measured by MPI during the period 2001- 2009. This improvement, especially in rural areas and some governorates, has not eliminated the imbalanced development between regions in Syria. Moreover, the relatively slow progress in education dimension reflects a serious challenge to the human capital accumulation. The stagnation of a number of health indicators, particularly during the last decade, highlights the institutional inefficiencies, which did not contribute in translating the quantitative expansion into qualitative development.

The results show that the MPI poverty in Syria has decreased by 41 per cent between 2001 and 2009, reflecting a notable improvement in human development situation of Syrians. The decrease of MPI was significant in rural areas, from 0.083 in 2001 to 0.047 in 2009, and much sharper than the MPI reduction in urban areas which had decreased significantly between 2001 and 2009 from 0.038 to 0.027.

Both components of MPI dropped during the studied period; that the poverty incidence witnessed a notable drop from 15 per cent in 2001 to 9 per cent in 2009, and this has been accompanied with a slight decrease in the MPI intensity from 40 per cent of the indicators to 38 per cent during the same period. Similar to MPI poverty, MPI incidence and intensity in rural areas were higher than in urban areas in the two years covered in the study, yet, the gap has narrowed over the time.

graphic design
Rabie Nasser, Zaki Mehchy : Syrian Center for Policy Research
Publication date
English, Arabic


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