Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: Croatia is one of the poorest countries in the EU

By  Oct 17, 2019

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. 

17th of October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

According to Vecernji.hr, Eurostat figures show that in 2018, 6.2 percent of the population, or as many as 31 million people in the European Union, were poor. By official definition, a person is poor when he or she cannot afford at least four of the nine items deemed necessary for a decent life. These include paying your bills on time, living in a heated apartment or home, owning a car, washing machine, TV, eating meat regularly, the ability to bear unexpected expenses, and at least a week long vacation trip.

-When it comes to Croatia, at first glance, the situation seems to be improving, as Eurostat announced in May that it had reduced its poverty rate to 8.6 percent. Year after year, progress and work on reducing poverty is evident, when you have in mind that Croatia had a record percentage not so long ago in 2012, when as many as 15.9 percent of the extremely poor people were living in the country. At that time, the GDP of the average Croatian citizen was as much as 39 percent lower than the GDP of the average EU citizen – Vecernji.hr writes, adding that even though the results have improved, Croatia is still at the bottom and is considered one of the eight poorest EU members with as many as 350 thousand citizens living below the statistical limit of extreme poverty.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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