By Rashid Shirinov
The problem of poverty, that has already seized hundreds of thousands of Armenia’s population, continues to remain one of the major problems that the country’s government cannot tackle for many years.
Poverty in the villages of Armenia is worsening, Sargis Sedrakyan, head of the Farmer Heritage NGO, has recently said at a press conference in Yerevan.
Another problem of Armenia, lack of people, is also acute in the villages.
“Management of the wrong agricultural policy for many years has resulted in the villagers’ abandoning lands and migrating. Villages of Armenia are emptying and aging, and the program to integrate communities only aggravates the situation,” he said.
Poverty is also among the main reasons for Armenians’ exodus from villages and from the country in general. The latest official statistics say that the current poverty rate in Armenia is approaching 30 percent of the total population. This equals to some 880,000 people, including 295,000 of very poor people, while 54,000 people are extremely poor.
Sedrakyan was right to say that poverty in the rural areas of Armenia is worsening – it stands at 30.4 percent of people. However, the situation in cities is not much better – 28.8 percent of city residents are poor.
It is also noteworthy that with the recent rise in the price of food, Armenia citizens reduce the quality of their nutrition, making a choice in favor of cheaper and less quality products. This, in turn, harms people’s health and well-being, which makes their already bad life even worse.
The plight of a certain part of Armenian children deserves special mention. Many of them, instead of studying, have to work every day to provide food for their poor families. About 30 percent of working children in Armenia are under 14, statistics say.
Obviously, poverty creates obstacles for a normal life of Armenia’s population and deprives it of a bright future that the Armenian government constantly promises to people. Although the country borrows hundreds of thousands dollars from other states every year, this has no positive effect on the life of Armenia's poor population.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz