The Meeting of the UNECE Group of Experts on Measuring Poverty and Inequality is taking place in Geneva (Switzerland) on 28 and 29 November 2023. The meeting is organized under the Conference of European Statisticians work programme on poverty statistics.
The Belarusian side is represented by Elena Kukharevich, First Deputy Chairperson of Belstat, and Inna Konoshonok, Head of the Living Standards Statistics and Household Surveys Department.
During the session "Inflation and its impact on poverty and inequality" Elena Kukharevich spoke about the measures taken by the state to prevent the population's living standards from falling due to inflation.
"The Republic of Belarus is a social state. And the main goal of the state social policy is to maintain a decent standard of living of the country's citizens. Along with measures aimed at raising incomes, the government in 2022 adopted an unconventional decision on administrative regulation of prices. This measure allowed for reducing annual inflation from 14.8% in September to 12.8% in December 2022. During the period of the regulatory measures, from October 2022 to the present, inflation for goods subject to price regulation was only 0.4 per cent. And for the first 9 months of 2023, inflation was 3.6% YTD, which is significantly lower than last year's rate," noted the First Deputy Chairperson of Belstat.
"As a result of all the measures taken by the state during the period of a significant rise in prices for goods and services, the level of poverty in Belarus has not increased. And this is confirmed by both objective and subjective data: the level of absolute poverty decreased from 4.1% in 2021 to 3.9% in 2022, the level of subjective poverty decreased from 7.6% to 7.2% respectively. In addition, according to the results of the survey conducted in September this year as part of a sample household living standards survey, 90% of households in the country reported that they are satisfied with their lives in general," Elena Kukharevich summarised her speech.
The Meeting of the Group of Experts was preceded by the Workshop on Harmonisation of Poverty Statistics to Measure SDG 1 and 10 on 27 November. Today, with SDG 1 setting a global target for the elimination of poverty in all its forms, the SDGs recognise the multidimensional nature of poverty, and the use of only monetary components to study it is no longer sufficient. Therefore, the main topic of the meeting was the multidimensional nature of poverty.
During the meeting Inna Konoshonok shared her plans to carry out preparatory work in Belarus to develop a multidimensional poverty index and introduce this indicator for the monitoring of SDG 1.
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