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December 7, 2021

PM Ciolos: We can no longer combat poverty only by talking money, humanity is needed

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said Wednesday that poverty can no longer be combated only by talking about money or budget allocations, but it is necessary to use efficiently the respective funds, and also political will and humanity are needed.

“We are in Romania in a time when we can no longer combat poverty only by talking money, funds, budget allocations, in the sense this is not enough, an efficient use of these funds is required, and beyond administrative procedures and the political will, humanity is needed in the process, because we work with people, not with numbers,” Ciolos told a public debate on the integrated package to combat poverty, unveiled by the Government.

According to Agerpres, the prime minister proposed, in this context, the creation of an anti-poverty coalition to sustain the package of measures also after the current Government ends its mandate.

“We should set up an anti-poverty coalition to bring together NGOs, the academics, ministries and local authorities around these ideas that we are proposing today, but that can be developed over time. (…) I am aware, this Government, by definition, will have a short life and we do not want necessarily to promote these measures with the governmental identity of this Government. Some of these already exist in legislation or are applied more or less effectively, others will be started, but continuity is very important. (…) We start from the idea that this coalition would allow this continuity,” said the premier.

He added that the package includes a number of priority measures that the Government aims to continue or start later this year, during the term of the current Cabinet.

“It is a document which we will outline and we will finalize in working groups together with the ministries, the local public authorities, with the partners in NGOs. It is a plan of measures organized in 47 measures grouped on life stages in such a way that we could provide a kind of safety net for the poorest in Romania, regardless of their age, to offer a package of measures on different life stages to a person when they need support. Beyond this approach by age categories, there are also measures for the entire family, aimed at improving housing and health in rural areas, as well as some transversal measures, such as inclusion of people with disabilities,” said Dacian Ciolos.

The official mentioned that possibilities of financing from European funds have already been identified, in addition to the funding from the national budget for certain measures. He said that legislative changes are needed to put into practice some anti-poverty measures provided for in the package.

“Some measures need not only funding but also legislative adaptations, but there are some measures that require only legislative decisions and then only being put into practice from an administrative viewpoint,” said Ciolos.

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