Number of poor increases by 20% in Serbia

Over 100,000 more Serbian citizens were below the poverty line in 2010 compared to 2009, Serbian president`s advisor for social issues Gordana Matkovic has stated.

Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 14:31 PM IST

Belgrade: Over 100,000 more Serbian
citizens were below the poverty line in 2010 compared to 2009, Serbian president`s advisor for social issues Gordana Matkovic
has stated, adding that the number of the poor has increased by about 20 percent during the crisis.

"The figures regarding poverty and the standard of living
in Serbia sound alarming: about 650,000 people are below or on
the poverty line,almost 600,000 people have no jobs, which is
by 140,000 more than at the beginning of the crisis," Matkovic
stated in an interview for the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje
Novosti.

She said that about 120,000 children do not have
essential things for a normal life, such as decent clothes,
shelter, books and pointed out that 1.7 percent of university
graduates are poor.

"According to the assessments for the first half of 2010,
a total of 650,000 people are not able to satisfy the most
basic needs," underscored Matkovic, who is also Director of
the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies.
She said that absolute poverty is measured by the
criteria of the World Health Organisation, which refer to the
necessary minimum food consumption.
Matkovic believes that there may be a stagnation of
poverty in Serbia in 2010, mainly because of the suspension of
the growth in unemployment and the new Law on Social
Protection.

Bureau Report