• 2021-10-17

Announcement Ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

As the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty approaches, the Center for Democracy Foundation calls attention to the predominant existential uncertainty and alarming poverty present in Serbia, and calls for the adoption of strategies the primary aim of which are to reduce, that is, to eradicate poverty.

Remember, approximately half a million people in our country live below the so-called absolute poverty line, and a quarter of the population lives below the so-called relative poverty line. Serbia has alarmingly high risk of poverty rates and informal employment rates; the number of beneficiaries of financial state aid decreases from year to year, and especially worrisome are indicators relating to access to basic services, housing, and meeting healthcare or nursing needs.

When we combine these data with recent World Bank estimates that due to the ‘economic shock’ caused by the Covid-19 pandemic the threat of a poverty pandemic looms, as the number of poor may increase from 125 to 327 thousand, it is clear that combatting poverty must be one of Serbia’s strategic priorities in the coming period.

Such a conclusion is even more pronounced if the presented data are viewed in the light of the cautionary fact that for a decade now, Serbia has not had in effect a similar strategic public policy document after the expiry of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, despite having record poverty rates compared to other European countries.

The CDF again draws attention to the recommendations we have proposed in published reports and policy recommendations, both at the level of the National Convention, the Working Group for Negotiating Chapter 19 - Social Policy and Employment, and within the Social Platform Sustainable Development for All.

Key recommendations:

  • To adopt a poverty reduction strategy;
  • To adopt a new social protection strategy and a new national programme for the suppression of the grey economy;
  • To establish a coordinating body within the Government of the Republic of Serbia to reduce poverty, with the Prime Minister at its helm;
  • To adopt a new ESRP (Employment and Social Policy Reform Programme in the EU Accession Process) which will include target value indicators that relate to reducing the number of people at risk of poverty;
  • To reinstate the work of the ERP and ESRP Application Monitoring Platform in collaboration with the National Convention on the European Union.

Center for Democracy Foundation ​