ZAGREB, October 17, 2016 – As a European Union (EU) member state and a member of the United Nations (UN) family, Croatia is committed to combating poverty and social exclusion. Achieving that goal depends on developing the right policies and programs and targeting them effectively, which requires having detailed knowledge on the disparities in living standards within the country.
To help policy makers, including the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds (MRDEUF), and the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth (MSPY), acquire the knowledge on the geographical distribution of poverty, in particular, at the municipal level, the World Bank and the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS) developed Income and Consumption-Based Poverty Maps for subnational levels. These Poverty Maps consist of a detailed geo-referenced database that provides information about the geographic distribution of poverty, aiming to help inform policies to reduce regional disparities and eradicate poverty and social exclusion within its national borders.
“For the first time as a part of official statistics of the Republic of Croatia, data from the Population Census were combined with household survey data using the small area estimation methods, “ said Marko Krištof, Director General of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. “This has enabled the estimation of poverty data at the level of counties, and at the level of cities and municipalities, as the data were previously available only at the national level. We are proud as we believe that the release of this data will enhance evidence based decision making and enable introduction of optimal measures to reduce poverty levels in the Republic of Croatia.“
“Mapping poverty is the first step towards improving our insight into the monitoring of data on poverty in small areas,” added Tomislav Tolušić, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds. “By determining the relative and absolute rate of poverty in small areas, which we are presenting today, and with the help of the Multiple Deprivation Index currently being put together, we will both identify the territorial distribution of people at risk of poverty and the poverty profile, and create the prerequisites for additional allocations from European Structural and Investment funds (ESI funds) for the renewal of small and mid-sized deprived cities in Croatia.”
The results from small area estimations reveal the heterogeneity of poverty in Croatia in 2011 with the poverty rate in the Continental region being 19.4 percent, while in the Adriatic region 12.6 percent (GeoSTATRH).
“We are aware of the growing number of poor in Croatia, and we are planning and implementing a series of reforms aiming to reduce poverty,” stated Bernardica Juretić, Minister of Social Policy and Youth. “The state needs to protect the most vulnerable, the reason for which we adopted the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion for 2014-20 so we could ensure a minimum living standard for the most vulnerable and protect its further erosion. I am inviting all of us, also on this occasion, to turn first to every individual, and then to society of social justice and equality and try to find a way out of poverty."
“October 17 is the UN designated International Day for the Eradication of Poverty,” said Frank Heemskerk, World Bank Executive Director. “It is an important global rallying moment for the movement to end poverty, every year from now until 2030. End Poverty Day also presents us with an opportunity to draw global and national attention to issues related to poverty, prosperity, inequality and promotion of inclusive development. Therefore, I am honored to be here in Croatia on this particular day and witness the public presentation of this important policy tool in combatting poverty and social exclusion in Croatia.”
The use of the poverty maps can also help policy makers achieve considerable progress in poverty reduction within limited available resources, as they can serve as an additional component in their tool kit when trying to decide where limited funds can be distributed among the population that needs assistance.
The World Bank: Vanja Frajtić, +385 1 2357 230, firstname.lastname@example.org