Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Fifth Sitting of the Poverty Reduction Committee

The Poverty Reduction Committee held its fifth sitting on 4 December in the form of a roundtable with the topic: “Creation of an Encouraging Environment for the Cooperation of the Civil Sector and Local Self-Government in the Process of Implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy”.



The Poverty Reduction Committee held its fifth sitting on 4 December in the form of a roundtable with the topic: “Creation of an Encouraging Environment for the Cooperation of the Civil Sector and Local Self-Government in the Process of Implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy”.

The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman, Bojan Milovanovic.

The Committee sitting was attended by Zarko Sunderic, deputy manager of the Team of the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy; Dragan Golubovic, UNDP expert, Dusan Telecki, president of MA Ada, Vesna Civric, head of office of the MA Ada Poverty Reduction Committee, Valentina Milivojevic, president of the Association for help to children and adult persons with developmental disabilities from Raska, representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Economy and Regional Development, Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and representatives of the non-government sector.

Opening the Committee sitting, Bojan Milovanovic, Committee Chairman, pointed out that poverty as a global issue does not only represent a violation of basic human rights, but it denies the chance for normal life as well.

The deputy manager of the Team of the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Zarko Sunderic, stated that poverty in Serbia today has been halved compared to 2002, when the Poverty Reduction Strategy was brought. According to the latest data, in 2007 490 000 people in Serbia live beneath the poverty line, with a monthly income of 8 800 dinars per equivalent individual or 19 500 dinars per three-member family with one underage child.

He announced that by the middle of January 2008, the Republic Institute for Statistics will publish data on the structure of the poor in Serbia. The Poverty Reduction Strategy is not solely for the National Assembly and the Government, but for local self-government and civil society as well. He also emphasised that each municipality in Serbia should develop a local Poverty Reduction Strategy. In Serbia today, 27 municipalities have no poverty reduction plan, 140 municipalities have a plan of some sort, and almost 400 strategic documents are currently being drafted at a local level. He also added that next year a programme financed by the European Union will be set in motion, so as to aid municipalities in starting the drafting of plans and securing funds for their implementation.

Dragan Gloubovic, UNDP expert, talked to the participants of the roundtable about the innovations introduced into the non-government sector by the Associations Bill, and the president of MA Ada Dusan Telecki, Vesna Civric, head of office of the MA Ada Poverty Reduction Committee and Valentina Milivojevic, president of the Association for help to children and adult persons with developmental disabilities from Raska, spoke about the examples of good practice in their communities.

The participants of the roundtable went on to discuss the structure of the poor in Serbia, the need for an analysis of the geographical spread of poverty, the reduction of demographic emptying of poor regions in Serbia, the need for continuous efforts on conducting the Poverty Reduction Strategy, raising awareness for combating poverty at a local level, the connection between educational level and poverty and even regional development as one of the poverty reduction mechanisms in Serbia.


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