2. Overview of Anti-poverty Policies
Anti-poverty policies may be classified in different ways. Sen2 has made a distinction between policies that affect income generation (aggregative policies) and those that affect income accruing to different individuals or households. The analysis of anti-poverty programmes in Sri Lanka shows that most programmes had no specific focus on the rural poor and generally applied to the whole population. For example, free education and health facilities and food subsidies (prior to 1978) covered the entire population. Some other programmes which professed to be anti-poverty, have not had the desired impact. The is the case with the district integrated rural development programmes and the land reforms of the 1970s. Target-group oriented programmes have been a more recent feature in anti-poverty policies in the country. Although important anti-poverty policies were not confined to the rural sector alone, the bulk of the beneficiary population belong to the rural sector (including the estate sector).
The following categorisation will be employed in the discussion of anti-poverty policies in Sri Lanka.1
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