In recent years, absolute poverty in Iran has risen drastically. Action is necessary in order to provide for basic needs and prevent more Iranians from falling under the poverty line. Here are seven facts about poverty in Iran.
7 Facts About Poverty in Iran
- Economic Downshift: According to the Iranian Parliament’s Research Center, between 23% to 40% of Iran’s population will be living in absolute poverty soon. This is due to an increase in unemployment, inflation and a downward trend in economic growth. The Research Center’s report shows that the inflation rate has risen to 47% from 2018 to 2019 and estimates that 57 million more Iranians will fall into poverty over 2020.
- Support Packages: The Iranian Parliament’s research center recommends that the government send support packages to the Iranians suffering under the worst conditions in order to supply them with basic needs. The government would provide support packages four times a year. It would also include cash cards that people can use only for food items.
- Crossing into Poverty: For a family of four living in Tehran, the poverty line rose to a monthly income of 27 million rials or $650 per month. Now, anyone living with a monthly income of $650 per month and under is considered to be living in poverty. The Research Center’s report shows a 22% increase in people living in poverty since 2017. The increase means that Tehrani families of four that were not under the poverty line in 2017, now are.
- Organizations that Help: The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation is an Iranian organization that provides support to families living in poverty. The government and private donors support the foundation. The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation invested almost $155 million in solar plants to assist families living in poverty.
- The Weakened Rial: In May 2019, President Hassan Rouhani announced his decision to partially withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement. Shortly after, the rial decreased by 3,500 points. In 15 months, the rial went from 40,000 to 156,500 to the dollar.
- Sanctions and Corruption: Iran’s banking and oil sectors are its backbones, but U.S. sanctions have greatly affected these sectors, causing an economic crisis in Iran. Many Iranians have fallen victim to panic-buying due to fear of price increases. Internal corruption has led to an occasional scarcity of goods due to merchants and entrepreneurs hoarding goods to increase prices.
- Plan B: To generate income, Iranian officials say that they are ramping up non-oil goods. They have also built up a network of traders, money collectors and exchange companies in other countries to get around banking and financial sanctions. If sanctions remain, they plan to export other goods to prevent further economic despair.
In Iran, 26 million people are living in absolute poverty. However, with more support from the Iranian government and better relations with the U.S., Iran should be able to prevent the increase in poverty in its country.
– Lisa Di Nuzzo