Government Working to Narrow Poverty Gap

YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Armenia’s Government will work to further narrow the gap between the country’s rich and poor by reducing poverty levels to match those of the world’s developed countries, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Aghvan Vartanian announced during a press conference on Tuesday.
According to its program, the Government will seek reduce by 2012 Armenia’s poverty level to 11.2 percent and its extreme poverty level to 1.6 percent, explained Vartanian, who is also a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s parliamentary bloc.
In 1997, Armenia’s poverty level was at 56.1 percent, while extreme poverty was at 21%, he explained. By 2006, those numbers had greatly dropped with 26.5 percent of Armenia’s population living in poverty and only 4.1 percent in abject poverty.
The government is also planning to direct 6.2 percent of the country’s GDP to social security, Vartanian said.
Stressing the need to make social services more accessible to an even greater number of people, Vartanian explained that the Government’s goal is to increase by 2012 the average pension level to the level of subsistence.
The activities of the ministry in this regard are being conducted in a transparent and public manner, he told noted.
Vartanian explained that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is also concentrating on achieving the government’s goal to reach real gender equality in the country.

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