Saturday, October 17, 2009

Poverty in Iran

Found on Payvand Iran News. Good information.

If you read Farsi, here are a couple more on the state of poverty in Iran ... this one posted by Sarmayeh, and one posted on Pezhvak, which you can read here).

The Poverty Line in Iran. A "Hoax?"
Source: Iranian Progressives in Translation

Translator's note: At a recent press conference in Tehran, fraudulently elected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that customary approaches used by economists to determine the poverty line are a "hoax" and cannot be used as a measure to prove that there is poverty in Iran. Existing facts, however, contradict Ahmadinejad's statement.

According to a World Bank study done in 2005 and published in 2008, over 8% of Iran's population of 72 million live under the severe poverty line of $2 per day or $240 per month for a family of four.(1) Based on a study done by the Central Bank of Iran in 2006, the general poverty line is currently no less than $400 per month for a family of four. (2) Another study done by the Iranian economist Hussein Raghfar, and endorsed by the Iranian newspaper, Capital, states that the poverty line in Tehran is around $800 per month for a family of four. This study also claims that given the large number of Iranian city dwellers, around 30% of the population fall below the poverty line. Raghfar's study emphasizes that an increasing percentage of the following groups have fallen below the poverty line: 1. Laid off and unemployed workers. 2. Farmers who cannot compete with the cheaper prices of imported agricultural goods. 3. Civil servants whose salaries cannot pay for living expenses, given the current 26% inflation rate(3) While a minority of Iranian economists claim that poverty has declined during the past ten years, most Iranian economists think otherwise. (4) The following report from the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) responds to Ahmadinejad's latest claim that there is no poverty in Iran. ILNA was launched in February 2003. It belongs to the Workers House, a labor union set up by the Iranian government. However, it is considered close to the Iranian reform movement. ILNA was banned in the Summer of 2007 and was reinstated a year later after much pressure from workers' organizations, students and journalists.(5)

[Click here for more photos of people living in the margins of Bandar Abbas, a southern port city on the Persian Gulf.]

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