Azerbaijan in list of countries combating poverty

Analysis Materials 5 February 2009 10:06 (UTC +04:00)

Nearly one billion people in the world suffer from malnutrition and poverty. Nearly 21 countries already have serious malnutrition and permanent poverty, and tens of other countries try to remove the heavy burden of this crisis, which can further strengthen. The number of the poorest countries includes Bangladesh, Burcina Faco, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India, Laos, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Timor-Leshti and Eritrea.

The situation in the developed countries is considerably better. The number of poor people in the USA reduced twice from 40 to 23 millions, Today the share of indigent people in America reaches 20 percent, in Sweden, Germany and Norway - 5 - 7 percent. For a long time, the criterion of poverty in the world was $1 income per capita during the day. However, it is clear that in the developed, even many developing countries (except tropical Africa) it is practically impossible to live with $30 per month.

Poverty exists in all countries, including Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is still in the international list of the countries with the poor population, although the number of poor people decreases each year. As a result of 2008, the level of poverty in Azerbaijan reduced to 13.2 percent, taking into account that in 2003 the level of poverty was 49 percent. Moreover, the poverty in the Republic reduced although the population constantly increases in the country.

Thus, as of the beginning of 2009, having increased 1.2 percent, the population of the Republic composed already 8.73 million people, which is 5.8 percent more as compared to 2003. Last year the birth rate composed 152,000 people.

Moreover it is necessary to note that in Azerbaijan the process of the rejuvenation of poverty is observed. According to the data by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the process of rejuvenation affects families having many children, which obtain targeted social aid. According to the statistics, 90 percent of families, which obtain TSA, have children, including 50 percent of such families have three or more children.

In spite of the progress with the decrease of the percentage of poverty in Azerbaijan, the incomes of more than million Azerbaijanis are still less than the established cost of living, since the consumer basket does not entirely correspond to the requirements of living. In general, consumption grows even taking into account the inflation, and the number of poor people automatically reduces. But standard of living rises considerably slower than the real solution of the problem of poverty requires.

The periodically raising incomes of population, economic growth do not always reach the poor population. Actually, with the 10.8 percent increase in the GDP, this year the incomes of the population of Azerbaijan increased by 37.8 percent. However, the economic growth is not guarantee for rapid decrease in the level of poverty, since the incomes, ensured by increase, rarely reach poor people.

For comparison, in several countries the wages corresponds to the cost of living of a family. I.e., there is considered the cost of living of not one family member, but the entire families. Currently 37 percent of labor capable women, who live in Japan and in the countries of Europe and America, do not work, since the amount of wages of the head of family completely satisfies their requirements.

Starting from 2009 the criterion of need for the people obtaining targeted social aid composes 60 manat and the cost of living increased to 84 manat in Azerbaijan. However, for the labor force, this lath composes 92 manat, pensioners - 65 manat, and the children -69 manat.

In Azerbaijan the high index of poverty is firstly connected with the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, presence of more than one million refugees. More than 60 percent of internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan suffering from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict live under poverty.

But there are poor people amongst other categories of citizens, for example, unemployed. As of Jan. 1, 2009, 44,481 unemployed were officially registered in Azerbaijan. As known, the increase in the unemployment negatively affects the level of poverty. The average amount of benefit on the unemployment in December 2008 composed 137.5 manat, which is 51.3 percent of the average monthly wage of workers. During this period, benefit was provided to 2,134 people.

Other factor affecting the level of poverty in Azerbaijan is the present situation of pensioners. The observed indexing of pensions is interconnected only with the value of inflation, i.e., the real value of pension does not change. All these leads to the fact that nearly third of pensioners in Azerbaijan have incomes less than the cost of living. As a result of 2008 1,270,000 pensioners were registered in Azerbaijan. The average amount of pensions as per Jan. 1, 2009 composed 96 manat, i.e., 36 percent of average monthly wages in the Republic.

The list of the category of poor people in Azerbaijan can include disabled people, children, alone people, so-called "working poor". As of Jan. 1, 2009 750,000 citizens of the country obtained targeted social aid, with 22 manat per capita averagely.
Taking into account the solution of these problems, according to the forecasts by the Ministry of Economic Development, in 2025 the incomes of population will comprise more than $8,000 per year, and on the parity of purchasing capacity it will be equal to $20,000. Whereas, as a result of 2008, the income per capita of population composed $2,925.