Addressing Poverty in Sudan and Malaysia: A Story of Success and Constraints

  •  Hillo Abdelatti    
  •  Yasin Elhadary    
  •  Narimah Samat    


Sudan and Malaysia have shown some socio-economic similarities especially when it comes to the issue of addressing poverty. After independence, almost half of the entire population of both countries were living under poverty line. The successive national governments in both countries have embarked on eliminating the extreme poverty. The aim of this paper is to highlight the policies and programmes adopted and implemented by policymakers in both countries in addressing poverty. The overall objective is to uncover the secret of the success and constraints faced both countries in addressing poverty. To achieve such objective, the paper based mainly on a desk review of recent documents and review of some recent researches' result. The paper has come out with that the similarities between both countries manifested itself in that both are classified as Muslim countries, have an agricultural background, inherited the same legacy as been colonized by British, their communities consist of various ethnic groups and minorities with sharp spatial and ethnic inequalities in income and social class. Despite these, Malaysia has succeeded in reducing poverty from over fifty 52.4% in 1970 to around one per cent 1.2 % in 2015, while less progress has been made in side of Sudan. Moreover, unlike Sudan, Malaysia has managed to achieve the MDGs goals in halving a head before the time determined, while Sudan has long way and it seems impossible to fulfil such objective even after 2015. Our findings have shown that, formulated home-grown policies, rejecting imposed policies by international institutions (World Bank), availability and accessibility of up to date poverty data, ability to implement policies and above all the political will are the main drivers behind the secret of success in the side of Malaysia and vice versa for Sudan. Sudan like other countries has to follow the Malaysia model if the decision makers are serious in eliminating poverty. This paper may contribute to the on-going discussion on poverty and open rooms for more comparative study between nations. Comparative study will help the planners in formulating rational policy, benefitting from exchanging ideas and learning from each.

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