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17.10.2007

Acting Ombudsperson calls upon central authorities to urgently review the strategy for elimination of poverty in Kosovo

The International Day for the Elimination of Poverty finds Kosovo at the top of the list of poorest countries in the world, almost in same situation as it was after the conflict in 1999.

According to some figures providedby international organisations, currently in Kosovo more than 12 % of the population live in extreme poverty while more than half of the total population are effected by the overal poverty. As a consequence of poverty, a large number of people are willing to migrate abroad if they had have the opportunity to leave Kosovo.
Taking into consideration these statistics, the Acting Ombudsperson, Mr. Hilmi Jashari, visited Skenderaj/Srbica, the poorest area in Kosovo. On that occasion, he met members of families who live on less than one euro Euro per day.
According to the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is directly applicable in Kosovo through UNMIK Resolution 1999/24, state institutions should recognise the right of all citizens to an adequate living standard including food, clothing and adequate shelter. State institutions should take concrete steps to ensure that this right is fully respected.
“The Kosovo Government should take urgent measures to help the families that are effected my the poverty in Kosovo. Not all of these problems are connected to final status. It is necessary to urgently review the priorities for eliminating poverty, since the strategy does not appear to have been successful” said Mr. Himi Jashari during his visit to a joint shelter of 13 families in Prekaz.
“ Seventy five Euros are insufficient to buy medication for my 9 family members, so, I am forced to collect food and clothing from the garbage just to survive” said one of the residents of the collective centre in Skenderaj/Serbica.
The inhabitants of this area who met the Acting Ombudsperson said that every day, their lives are becoming more difficult, having in mind the increase in food prices.
They asked the Acting Ombudsperson to raise his voice and ask for their right to a dignified life.
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