Osnat Lubrani: Poverty Eradication week
Message of the UN Development Coordinator and
UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo
Ms. Osnat Lubrani
Dear: Speaker; MPs; international partners (donors); Civil society; Colleagues from UN agencies in Kosovo
It is a great pleasure to be here with you at this great event of Poverty Eradication week. I would like to start my short speech with a citation of the founder of the Human Development Reports Mr. Mahbub ul Haq:
"The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time. People often value achievements that do not show up at all, or not immediately, in income or growth figures:
• greater access to knowledge,‡
• better nutrition and health services,‡
• more secure livelihoods,‡
• security against crime and physical violence,‡
• satisfying leisure hours,‡
• political and cultural freedoms and sense of participation in community activities.
The objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives." (Mahbub Ul Haq).
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• Kosovo’s human development index (HDI) – a critical measure of its progress for people as opposed to its economic wealth – is the lowest in the region.
• About 45 percent of Kosovans live below the poverty line. Poverty is higher among those living in large families, living with many unemployed members, and those who have low education levels. The poor are also geographically concentrated in rural areas and in a few regions of Kosovo such as the Prizren/ and Gjilan/Gnjilane regions.
• A relatively high number of households (7.6 percent) do not have business and arable land and are unemployed. 42.7 percent of households do not have business and arable land but they do participate in the labour market. Employment alone does not protect from poverty as 6.4 percent of poor households had employed members.
• 36.3 percent of households reported that they do not have access to one of such essential utility services as tap water, sanitation and electricity.
• About 48 percent of the labour force was unemployed in 2008, while unemployment rate for youth stood at 73 percent. Unemployment tends to be long-term, where nearly 82 percent of the unemployed are out of work for more than 12 months. The job market swells by an average 30,000 young jobseekers every year, with little opportunity available to them.
• Kosovo-RAE have the highest exclusion rates with 40.6 percent excluded from all factor markets (don’t own land and don’t have personal business and are unemployed)
Despite the above captured facts in the field of economy (e.g. poverty data) one of main keys of success for sustainable human development is ensuring social Inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, youth, unemployed and RAE in Kosovo. An inclusive society is not inevitable only for Kosovans themselves, but also for Kosovo’s way towards European Union’s membership. Europe has pledged to become the world’s most competitive economy – and it understands that this can only be achieved by concurrently aspiring to become the world’s fairest and most open place to live. Social inclusion, however, goes far beyond Europe – to the core of human rights and human dignity, and it is decisive in determining what kind of society Kosovans will to create today, to leave for their children to inherit.
I would like to thank all of you who have worked hard to make this event happen.
At the ending, let me convey to you that I look forward to participating in the discussions which will take place after the presentations, to hear your opinions at the decision makers elected to represent those who ned yo most- the shaded people behind figures in this document. I urge all of you present here to help us ensure that we come out of this meeting with a clear set of concrete priorities on which we can follow up respectively and in coordination with each other. For our part, the UN agencies shall look forward to contribute to immediate and longer-term actions that shall be put before us