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Romania’s poverty rate goes up

The poverty rate grew in Romania in 2009 from 5.7 percent to 7.4 percent, the number of poor population reaching 1.59 million persons, of which 351,000 are children aged between 0-14 years, according to a UNICEF report, said Ileana Savu, State Secretary with the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection.
In 2008 there were reported 1.22 million people, of which 256,000 children living in absolute poverty.
‘After eight years of sustained economic growth, Romania will experience in 2009 an economic slowdown, the consequence of global slowdown.
According to the latest estimates, the gross domestic product will contract 4 percentage points in 2009,’ said the state secretary with the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection.

According to the Romanian official, a shrinkage by 4 percent in the GDP means a growth by 100,000 in the number of the unemployed. According to UNICEF experts, the poverty will continue to be more visible in rural areas, however, this year the poverty will increase quicker in the urban environment, as an outcome of the number of laid-off persons. Afflicted by poverty will be also children.
Therefore, children aged between 0-14 years and young people between 15-24 years will continue to have the highest risk of poverty. The two age groups account for 43 percent of the poor population.
Therefore, said Ileana Savu, the diversification of local social services is necessary due to effectively protect most children in need.

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