Tuesday, June 21, 2011

700,000 Serbians living below the country's poverty line

The Serbian government has just conducted a survey on household incomes and found a large number are below the poverty line. 700,000 people in Serbia are below the country's poverty line of less than 80 euros a month. To make matters worse, the Serbian government is having trouble being able to afford giving all of those people aid.

From The Turkish Weekly, Bojana Milovanovic gives us more statistics about the poor in Serbia.

About 730,000 Serbs are unemployed and around 50,000 frequent soup kitchens, courtesy of the Red Cross, the database showed. With some of the highest levels of poverty found in rural areas, migration to towns has become increasingly heavy, resulting in 42,000 single-member village households.

Many of Serbia's elderly are struggling to make ends meet, even as age and declining strength make them less able to cope. More than 300,000 pensioners live off of about 110 euros per month.

"My pension is [around] 120 euros, just enough to cover my bills. I would starve if it were not for my daughter," Biljana Stosic, 63, a pensioner from Belgrade, told SETimes.

Even for younger people, finding or keeping a job in Serbia is a challenge. For those over 55, it can become nearly impossible. As many as 95% of the unemployed in that age bracket have been unable to locate work after their former employers shut down or cut back on personnel.

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