ZAGREB, Oct 17 (Croatia Sun News) – The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was observed on Thursday by members of the Portal of Kindness NGO who called for changing the law so that all children in Croatia could have equal opportunities for success and warned those in power that there are also hungry children in schools.
“Poverty is the worst kind of violence that mainly children and young people are exposed to,” representatives of the NGO said, calling on those in power to amend the Education Act and ensure that high school students too have at least one hot meal in school.
The NGO also advocates introducing a basic income for children which would ensure vouchers to pay for food or sports activities, cultural events, instructions and foreign language courses.
The activists asked those in charge how life could be dignified if children did not have the bare necessities, including a daily meal, and pointed out that 360,000 tons of food was thrown away in Croatia annually.
They also observed a minute’s silence for all those who are hungry.
300,000 children live in poverty
“The number of the deceased has exceeded the number of newborns by more than 15,000. Is Croatia doomed to a population collapse and old age?” said Portal of Kindness president Sanja Bijonda.
We need not look for hungry children only in Yemen, where one child dies of hunger every ten minutes, and look at those in front of us, she added.
Croatia has one of the oldest populations in the EU, yet 300,000 children live in poverty, according to Institute of Economics surveys, the NGO said. “Over a million people live in material poverty or at risk of poverty, often indebted and burdened by long term loans.”
DZS: 2018 poverty risk rate at 19.3%
The poverty risk rate in Croatia in 2018 was 19.3%, and 24.8% of Croatians were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, with people aged above 65, notably women, being affected the most, the latest figures from the national statistical office (DZS) show.
According to the latest DZS report on poverty and social exclusion indicators for 2018, the poverty risk rate was 19.3% while the rate set in relation to the year 2012 was 13.9%.
Recently, the World Bank has stated that Croatia’s “moderate economic growth should lead to steady income growth for the poor.”
“Assuming that growth from 2019 onward is equally distributed across all individuals, poverty would decrease from 4.2 percent in 2018 to 3.9 in 2019 and further to 3.3 percent by 2021,” the WB says in its autumn outlook of Croatia’s growth.