800,000 people in Serbia live in absolute poverty

The coronavirus pandemic, inflation and the war in Ukraine are key factors that have contributed to poverty in the last few years.

As for Serbia, UNICEF reported that the 2023 data showed that 12.1 percent of people in Serbia, or 800,000 of them, live in absolute poverty. In terms of legislation, Serbia hasn’t had a poverty eradication and social protection strategy for 15 years.

Only 2.5 percent of the total population in Serbia is on social welfare.

“Also, the social welfare amount is small. I calculated that the monetary limit of absolute poverty for an individual in 2023 was 17,000 thousand dinars a month and that social welfare aid was under 11,500 dinars. Even the small number of people who are on welfare do not have enough to meet their basic needs”, says Sara Bradaš from the Centre for Democracy.

The eligibility criteria for social welfare are very restrictive and should be loosened. They state, for instance, that a four-member family must have a monthly income of less than 24,000 dinars and that everybody who has more than half a hectare of arable land and more than one room in their house or apartment is not eligible for welfare assistance.

According to Bradaš, the most vulnerable groups are primarily children, followed by families with a large number of children and the rural population. Furthermore, when looking at the employment status, the unemployed and ethnic minorities, i.e. Roma people, are most at risk.

According to the survey conducted by the Ipsos Research agency, price increases and lower purchasing power have badly affected 63% of people in Serbia. Also, 85 percent of people in Serbia shop only for discounted products.

A large number of citizens (60 percent) have asked family or friends to lend them money, 46 percent do not turn on the heating even though they are cold, 41 percent do not go to the doctor even though they have health problems and 34 percent skip meals even though they are hungry.

(Biznis.rs, 21.04.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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