By Rashid Shirinov
Poverty has always been among the principal social problems in Armenia. However, the government is still unable to solve the issue, therefore, a significant part of the country’s population barely make ends meet.
Today, about 10 percent of families in Armenia go to bed hungry, says Aharon Adibekyan, director of the “Sociometer” Sociological Center.
“Undoubtedly, the expected price increases in the New Year period will only exacerbate this situation. In general, the situation with poverty in the country will only get worse,” he told News-Armenia on November 29.
The latest official statistics say that the current poverty rate in Armenia is about 29.8 percent. The total number of poor people in the country amounts to 900,000, and 310,000 of them are very poor, while 60,000 people are recorded as extremely poor.
The report by Armenia’s National Statistical Service in 2015 noted that after the global economic crisis the level of the poorest in Armenia remained the same or regressed, while the richest have become even richer.
Meanwhile, poverty, paired with violent corruption and unemployment, forces some Armenians to commit crimes and even suicides.
Adibekyan noted that rise in the price of food products usually leads to several possible consequences.
“With the rise in the price of food, Armenian citizens reduce the quality of their nutrition, making a choice in favor of cheaper and less quality products,” he said.
This, in turn, harms people’s health and well-being, which makes their already bad life even worse.
The Armenian authorities should have resolved or at least alleviate the problem of poverty long ago by creating new jobs, thus attracting poor people to everyday activities, which, in turn, would benefit the poor economy of the country. However, the government takes no serious action in this direction. Therefore, Armenia is leadimg for unemployment rate among the CIS countries, making up 19 percent. Today, about 228,400 economically active people of Armenia are unemployed, and this is only the official figure.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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