As many as 95% of vulnerable families in Romania cannot cover basic needs, such as medicines and healthcare, food and other bare necessities for children, education expenses related to children, utility bills, amidst an ongoing social and economic crisis, according to a recent survey by Save the Children Romania.
According to a press statement released by Save the Children Romania on Monday, the survey was carried out October 21 – 31 among families qualifying for the organisation’s programmes.
According to the findings, 96% of these families indicated social security transfers (allowances, scholarships and social benefits) among their sources of income, while for more than one in ten households (12%) they were their only source of income.
Over a third of the households (38%) have three or more children, and 8% – five or more.
As many as 19% of the households receive remittances from relatives who work abroad, and for 5% the remittances are the only income of the family (excluding social security transfers). For 98% of the households, expenses have increased.
Over a third of the households (34%) rely also on income from occasional work, and for almost a fifth of the sample (18%) such income is the family’s only source of money (excluding social security transfers). Moreover, 14% of the households rely exclusively on the occasional work of one family member.
Regarding pensions, they are among the sources of income of 18% of households, for 4% being the only source (excluding other social security transfers), and in the case of 3% one pension is the only income of the family.
Half of the households try to save on utilities and food, which risks affecting the children’s well-being. In the current socio-economic context, expenses related to children’s education and healthcare are reduced in many families in order to face the wave of price increases. Regarding other expenses that families reduce or give up, the most frequently indicated are vacations/leisure activities and home renovation.
Two in five households (40%) say that they had lower incomes this autumn than in 2021, 41% say their incomes were the same, and 18% had higher incomes.
Most of the families are pinning their hope for support to overcome the effects of the economic crisis on non-state actors (NGOs, the church).
On November 20, World Children’s Day, Save the Children Romania recommends the government to urgently identify and implement measures to ensure that the children who are already facing certain vulnerabilities will not bear the brunt of the economic crisis.
According to official Eurostat data, about 1.5 million children in Romania (41.5%) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, Agerpres reports.