Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Poor

In Europe and Central Asia the percentage of population, the number of people living on $1.25 or less per day in the region was 0.7 percent in 2010, according to World Bank data. That compares to 31 percent in South Asia and 48.5 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. However,  some 80 million people live on less than $5 per day and struggle to meet even basic needs.

High heating bills during long, harsh winters and having to pay for more food (or more calories) to survive the cold make essential needs more expensive than in other regions. The average household in ECA spends over 7 percent of its income to pay for energy and food, compared to 4.7 percent in the East Asia and Pacific region and 4.6 percent in the Latin America and Caribbean region. These costs add up and even with $2.50 per day for each person, families in the region struggle to afford heating and food, let alone other living expenses.

Living on $2.50 a day or $5 per day is hard to imagine. Yet, it is the reality for millions of people in the region. Unemployment and low wages are seen as major contributors to poverty. Paying for heating and food, which are essential to survive the region’s unrelenting winters, drove almost every decision they made. But contending with these expenses left these families with little to no money, which often meant that other vital ones such as medical costs or school fees had to be put off or eliminated altogether.

From here

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