Monday, January 31, 2011

New Zimbabwe poverty line at $467 a month

The poverty line in Zimbabwe rose eight percent to $467 per month according to a new report. The Zimbabwe statistics bureau issued used the report ahead of a planned strike by the nation's government workers. Most government workers only have a monthly income of 200 dollars, less than half of the poverty line.

From this Canadian Press article that we found at Google News, we find out more about upcoming protest and what caused the poor economy in Zimbabwe.

The nation's 240,000 civil servants, teachers and government workers are planning to strike to protest average monthly incomes of around $200. With massive unemployment, most Zimbabweans survive on the equivalent of about $1 a day. Two million people are set to receive food aid in coming months, according to the United Nations.

The former regional breadbasket is struggling to emerge from political gridlock, economic collapse and international isolation and sanctions after President Robert Mugabe ordered the seizures of thousands of white-owned farms in 2000, disrupting the agriculture-based economy.

In its latest bulletin, the agency Zimstat said a family of five needed a monthly income of $467 if it was to be defined as "not poor" and able to meet its basic needs.

It said in December that family needed to spend nearly $150 on food alone to consume a minimum number of calories to stay healthy. Other expenses included housing, clothing, transportation and education and health care.

The report did not account for one expense that appears to have become a necessity even for the poorest of the poor: mobile phones. Street vendors say they need phones to help them eke out a living buying and selling their wares.

A state regulatory body said more than two-thirds of the population — even beggars and street children — own 7 million mobile phones and that inexpensive Chinese-made phones have clogged the nation's three mobile networks.

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