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Extreme Poverty in Poland: The Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions

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Wojciech Zylm
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Extreme Poverty in Poland: The Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions

Almost 5% of Poland's population, equivalent to 1.8 million people, are living in extreme poverty, according to a recent report. This alarming figure includes 400,000 children and 300,000 retirees. The study defines extreme poverty as existing on 753.92 zlotys for single-person households and 670.15 zlotys per person per month in multi-person households, which translates to about 20 Polish zloty ($5.05) a day.

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Poverty Beyond Unemployment

The report, based on 2022 data from the Polish Central Statistical Office and published by Szlachetna Paczka, an independent research center, further reveals that around 12% of Poles, or 4.5 million, live in relative poverty, struggling to meet basic needs. It emphasizes that the issue of poverty extends beyond the unemployed, highlighting that 1.7 million employed individuals were at risk of poverty in 2018, primarily due to low-wage jobs.

Lack of Savings and Rising Costs

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Moreover, the report points out that every third Pole has not accumulated any savings over the past six months. Compounding this issue, the cost of living in Poland has surged, with food prices increasing by almost 22% and housing rents by over 20% in 2022.

The Impact on Children and Households

The report underscores the significant impact of poverty on children's opportunities and the broader challenges faced by households in meeting basic needs. It also highlights that 3% of the population cannot afford basic purchases such as food and everyday chemicals.

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