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Crisis increases poverty

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 1
The World Bank leadership has expressed its concern that the global crisis might trigger a humanitarian catastrophe. It says that the current crisis has reduced more than 50 million extra people to poverty line subsistence, and the IMF says that around 90 million more people will soon live at the poverty level. Both financial institutions express their concern that around one billion people worldwide will soon experience chronic hunger.

Georgia, as a developing country, faces the same kind of threat. Economist Paata Koghuashvili thinks that 25 percent of the Georgian population is poverty stricken and more than 60 percent simply poor. Economist Niko Orvelashvili states that in 2006 polling showed that 72 percent of the rural population were already experiencing physical hunger at that time and poverty has increased since, though officials try to hide these statistics.

Irakli Iashvili from New Rights states that since 2004 the Government has changed the way of calculating of the consumersí basket. It has replaced high calorie expensive products with cheap products and thus decreased the consumer basketís overall value. This is now officially GEL 130, rather than GEL 184 it would be according to the old calculation system.