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Czech Television: One million Czechs suffer from poverty

Prague, 26.4.2010 13:55, (ROMEA)

Czech Television reports that almost one million people in the Czech Republic are living in poverty, which means they are not able to provide themselves with enough clean water, clothing, or food. The Czech branch of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) says the country’s social welfare system maintains the poor at subsistence level only. As part of the European Year for Combating Social Exclusion and Poverty, the Czech Republic has allocated CZK 12.5 million crowns (EUR 490 000) to 12 projects to improve the situation.

Those who suffer from poverty most in the Czech Republic are the chronically ill, invalids, seniors, the unemployed, and women supporting themselves. Such people are unable to afford even a Coca-Cola, to say nothing of dinner in a restaurant or a vacation. “One way to understand poverty is that I, as a poor person, cannot afford the ordinary things that are part of others’ lives,” Milena Černá, chair of the Czech branch of EAPN, told Czech Television.

People often fall into poverty because of debt, and the journey out of debt can be a difficult one. "A solution can always be found. On the other hand, some people’s stories are so brutal that solutions are not so easy to find,” Martin Kovalčík, a field social worker for the People in Need organization, told Czech Television. Those who have succeeded in overcoming poverty are now sharing their experiences with others by consulting on the development of a Europe-wide strategy for the fight against poverty for the next two years.

Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Czech Television, http://www.ct24.cz/domaci/87997-chudobou-trpi-milion-cechu/, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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