According to 2019 data, the risk of poverty rate in Serbia is 23.2% and the south of the country, the area of Kuršumlija, Vranje and rural areas are particularly at risk, Ana Kosel, director of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation said during an online discussion on the risk of poverty in Serbia.
She also said that 7.3% of the population in Serbia lives below the absolute poverty line, or about half a million people, including 100,000 children.
Particularly at risk are large families, families in rural municipalities, single-parent families, families with a disabled member, victims of domestic violence and homeless people.
Kosel said that the Foundation supported 66 small businesses in an effort to reduce poverty and that during the state of emergency, distributed 10,700 packages with basic food items to families and 26,000 meals to soup kitchens.
Vojvodinian Secretary of Economy, Nenad Ivanišević, said that the Law on Social Cards has finally been forwarded to the MPs at the National Assembly for a public debate. He also said that there were about 180,000 unemployed able-bodied people in Serbia who needed to be trained in order to be properly prepared for the labour market.
Speaking of the Roma people, as a particularly vulnerable group, Ivanišević underlined that it was necessary to react differently when a Roma child fails to attend school than when it comes to other children.
The absence of Roma children from schools, as well as underage marriages which are frequent in the Roma community, is often referred to as “part of the tradition”, although this is not true.
According to Ivanišević, attending high school “should be considered mandatory” in the 21st century.
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