The poverty rate among Jordanians  stood at 14.4 per cent in 2010, compared with 13.3 per cent in 2008, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation Sunday.
The methodology used for the study, presented during a workshop conducted by the Socio-Economic Council in cooperation with the Department of Statistics, relied on the Actual Food Consumption patterns adopted by the World Bank, officials said.
However, the cost of calories consumed was measured according to the least spending households, said Planning Minister Jafar Hassan. “The scale of Jordanian families’ needs and welfare has changed over the past decades… consumer needs, whether food or other products, have widened,” Hassan was quoted as saying in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.
The report showed that absolute poverty line (food and non-food poverty) amounted to JD813.7 annually, or JD68 monthly for each individual, while for the average family (5.4 members), poverty line stood at JD4,394 annually, or JD366 monthly.
The Abject poverty line (food poverty) amounted to JD151.2 a month for families  and JD336 for individuals a year, or JD28 a month. Overall, the abject poverty rate stood at less than 1 per cent and less than the average set by Jordan’s MDG [Millennium Development Goals] achievements by 2015. The report also indicated that the rate of poverty among the Kingdom’s 89 districts has varied “noticeably” and was most evident in Wadi Araba in Aqaba Governorate (17.5 per cent) and Rweished in Mafraq Governorate, where 69.6 per cent of residents are poor.
In terms of household spending, the ration of money spent on food went up in 2010 by 3 per cent compared to 2008, while non-food expenditures increased by 9.6 per cent.The study also addressed the impact of the government’s direct intervention to combat poverty in 2010, noting that without National Aid Fund assistance, the poverty rate would have topped 15.8 per cent.
“If we excluded all forms of government assistance, including salary raises for public and military personnel, in addition to the retirees, and cash and in-kind donations, poverty would have topped 17 per cent ,” Hassan highlighted.
Also on Sunday, the ministry issued a report that measured for the first time the quality of life of Jordanians between the years 2002 and 2010, under which this aspect has seen improvement, thanks, according to authors, to better education and housing. However, the report showed that the economic situation has not improved drastically for households.