World Bank: Romania Is a Poverty Leader in the EU

Romania has joined the EU in 2007 along with Bulgaria. No one said that we were quite ready to do that, that is why we still have convergence programs in which we continuously adapt to EU norms.

Credit: Kheng Ho Toh

Credit: Kheng Ho Toh

Jim Yonk Kim, President of the World Bank, stated that despite significant economic progress, Romania is still a country leader in EU poverty ranks with over 30% of the population living with less than $5 a day. So talk about the Third World seems familiar!

Jim Yonk Kim had met on Thursday with PM Victor Ponta at Victoria Palace to discuss Romania’s progress in ensuring economic stability in the context of the euro crisis and volatile external factors. The President of the World Bank warned the Romanian Government that social protection programs need to address those 30% living with less than $5 a day. He added that investments need to be primarily focused on education and health care for the poor population including ethnic minorities such as the Roma.

The World Bank Official was in Bucharest to discuss not only the ongoing agreements with the Romanian Government but also to advise on the mining sector potential of Romania and to assist the PM Cabinet with the implementation of public policies.

Now, what’s wrong with this picture? We all knew the above numbers for years and years and despite the fact that education and health policies are a priority – or so the legal framework says, they aren’t. Not in terms of financing.

The education sector was among the hardest hit by austerity policies during the last years and the new Education law is far from implementing those 6% of GDP. And never will. Doctors and teachers were invited by the Romanian President to leave the country if not happy with what they got. And so they did, to Western shores. And now Romania is facing shortage of doctors and soon a shortage of skilled, I mean skilled, teachers.

Public authorities made a similar silent invite as well through the public policies they so readily adopted. How about that? All of the above World Bank warnings fall on deaf ears over here.

So do spare us the hypocrisy.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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2 Responses to World Bank: Romania Is a Poverty Leader in the EU

  1. It’s similar in my neighborhood in the USA in the state of South Carolina. I live in Columbia, and one side of my corner lot faces a neighborhood called Forest Hills which is an affluent upper middle class association of 300 homes with a community organization that organizes community picnics, Christmas decorations and historical preservation. Across the street is the Lyon Street community which is a quarter mile of homes that house 1,654 people of whom 41.6% live below the national poverty line. The crime index is double the national level and on and on. Amazing in a state whose governor refuses federal aid. Please.

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