COVID-19 vaccinations in Malta
As of late May 2021, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations in Malta has allowed 70% of Malta’s adult population to receive at least one dose. The country’s decreasing COVID-19 cases and the success of the vaccine rollout offer hope to Maltese officials as they plan to reopen the country.

The Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccinations in Malta

Thanks to Malta’s increase in vaccinated citizens, hospitalizations have decreased by 95%. The country’s health minister, Chris Fearne, reported that 42% of adults are fully vaccinated. The country has administered Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. On June 8, 2021, the country’s active COVID-19 cases dropped to just 70, with a report of only one new case. Malta is among the growing number of nations, such as Israel and Bhutan, that are reporting successful vaccine rollouts.

Malta’s Declaration of Herd Immunity

With the successful vaccine rollout, the Maltese government has declared herd immunity. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced uncertainty about such declarations. Due to new COVID-19 variants, the proportion of the population requiring vaccination to achieve herd immunity is unknown. The new variants reduce the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning vaccinated people may still be at risk.

According to the Bloomberg vaccination tracker, the 42% of the Maltese population that is fully vaccinated does not include children 16 and younger. As a result, the total percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated is only 36.5%. Despite its small population of only about 500,000 people, the country has reported more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 400 COVID-related deaths.

Looking Ahead

Though COVID-19 cases are falling in Malta, the U.K. has announced that it will not lift its Malta travel ban. When the U.K. revised its “green list” of countries whose citizens will not have to follow quarantine requirements upon entry, Malta was still not part of the list. However, other countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands have eased restrictions on traveling to Malta.

Although the majority of Malta’s adult population has received vaccinations, the mask mandate will remain in place until July 1, 2021. After July 1, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to wear masks outdoors as long as COVID-19 cases stay relatively low.

As the country reopens and allows travelers to visit again, the Maltese government has set a new requirement for people entering the country: a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test. The government will also provide incentives to visitors, such as hotel and scuba diving vouchers, to promote tourism and boost the economy.

Maltese citizens will also need vaccine certificates in order to attend certain public gatherings. The certificates will act as proof for citizens who have received COVID-19 vaccinations in Malta. Fearne reports that as of June 10, 2021, Maltese people have downloaded more than 60,000 vaccine certificates.

The success of Malta’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout inspires hope for other countries. With more vaccine diplomacy and less vaccine nationalism, more countries can progress toward achieving herd immunity.

– Jordyn Gilliard
Photo: Unsplash

How Malta is Tackling Elderly PovertyIn Malta, elderly people are not considered as vulnerable as the working class when it comes to being at risk of poverty. However, in 2016, almost 25% of elderly people in Malta were at risk of poverty. The Maltese government has since stepped in to tackle elderly poverty. Here is the current situation with elderly poverty in Malta and what is being done about it.

The Current Situation in Malta

Malta’s elderly poverty rate is higher than the EU average of 21%. Malta recently increased its 2008 median income to supposedly lower the poverty rate but it did the opposite. The same result happened with Malta’s GDP. The country experienced a higher-than-average GDP growth over the past few years; however, poverty grew with it. This has shown to make a significant impact on working populations but not so much with the elderly population, thus making elderly people less vulnerable to poverty.

There is also a bit of a gender gap in terms of at-risk poverty for the elderly in Malta. About 20% of elderly women in Malta are at-risk of poverty, whereas 15% of men are at risk of poverty. However, the gender gap in Malta is lower than the EU average by a few percentage points.

There is also severe material deprivation in Malta but the rate is not high enough to make a significant impact. Material deprivation is where a person cannot afford things that are desired or necessary for everyday life from utilities to annual holidays to household goods like a washer or a car. Material deprivation is measured under nine categories. If someone cannot afford three things from the nine categories they are considered materially deprived. If someone cannot afford four things under the nine categories, they are considered severely materially deprived.

Malta’s rate of severe material deprivation has gone down over the years from more than 10% in 2014 to about 4% in 2016. This is possibly due to the rise in median income as well as a drop in unemployment. It could also be due to the rise in pensions and benefits for the elderly over the years.

What the Maltese Government is Doing to Combat Elderly Poverty

The National Strategic Policy for Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion is one measure to tackle elderly poverty in Malta. The policy is based on six categories vital for the well-being of people and aims to combat poverty levels. The categories include income and social benefits, employment, education, health and environment, social services and culture. The strategic actions act as a safety net on a preventative and interventionist level.

Another measure to tackle elderly poverty is government-funded programs and policies aimed at pension funding and benefits for the elderly. One program is the Full Pension Entitlement program. This program is for elderly people still working at their retirement age. Since the program’s introduction in 2014, more than 10,000 people have benefitted from the program.

Another program is the Senior Citizen’s Grant. This grant gives out a €300 annual allowance for people over 75. This grant has helped out almost 30,000 people. The government also gives out bonuses to retirees who are not entitled to a pension. These bonuses help out more women than men and have helped more than 12,000 people in 2016. Finally, the government created the Draft National Strategy for Retirement Income and Financial Literacy. This draft aims to educate the importance of planning people’s retirement early as well as establishing campaigns to assist people in making good financial choices for retirement.

Older generations in Malta may not be as vulnerable as the working class or young people, but elderly poverty is still an issue in Malta. With these new policies and programs aiming to help elderly people in Malta, there is hope to eradicate elderly poverty and improve the quality of life for the elderly population in Malta.

– Jackson Lebedun
Photo: Flickr

Healthcare in Malta
Malta is a picturesque country located in the Mediterranean, home to half a million people. While it is a tiny nation, healthcare in Malta is some of the best in the world. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked Malta fifth out of more than 100 countries for its healthcare system. Other independent studies have found it to place even higher. Residents of Malta can choose between a public healthcare plan and purchasing a private one, and there are even options for tourists.

Citizens of Malta and other nations in the European Union have the option of receiving public healthcare or obtaining their own private insurance. The public healthcare plan is available to all citizens, legal residents who pay social security contributions and retirees. Taxes fund public health insurance, which covers any visits to public hospitals. It also covers a wide variety of conditions and issues, ranging from childbirth to rehabilitation. The plan includes special treatment as well, such as therapy and visits to special clinics. Due to the small size of Malta, it is fairly easy for residents to seek medical care no matter where they are. Public hospitals are easily accessible, with a total of eight spread across the country, as well as a network of smaller clinics and pharmacies.

Accessibility of Private Insurance

Some people will opt for private health insurance, which gives them a greater pool of doctors and hospitals to choose from. As public insurance does not cover non-E.U. citizens, they must also purchase a private plan. Private insurance is becoming increasingly popular; people often think that it is faster and easier to receive treatment this way. Costs vary depending on what the plan covers and most companies offer a range of options to suit the needs of each individual or family. Healthcare costs are generally very reasonable. Many residents will choose private insurance over the public one: an indication of how affordable healthcare in Malta is.

Citizens can also choose to rely primarily on the public healthcare system and pay for visits to private hospitals or clinics as they go. Medical costs and medicines are extremely affordable when compared to countries like the United States, so this is not an uncommon practice. A visit to the doctor will only cost about $20, and a visit to the specialist may cost $65.

Tourists and people on short visits from the E.U. nation can consider applying for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which will provide the same coverage as a local would receive from the public healthcare plan.

Conclusion

Residents of Malta have the freedom to either rely on the country’s public healthcare system or buy private insurance. The public insurance covers visits to any public hospital as well as a wide range of treatments and conditions. While it is a competent plan, some people choose to pay for a private plan. Private insurance provides a greater number of doctors and practitioners to choose from, allowing for visits to private hospitals and clinics. Private insurance providers typically offer several plans designated for the different needs of clients. Citizens are also free to rely mostly on public healthcare and pay for visits to private practices out of pocket.

People who lack access to healthcare are at a greater risk of falling into poverty, and poor health conditions keep people trapped in poverty. The cost of medical services can be a huge burden on individuals and their families. Women and children may have to leave school in order to help their families earn money, causing an education disparity which only leads to more severe impoverishment. A good healthcare system is paramount to reduce poverty in a nation. Malta’s public healthcare system offers its benefits and services to everyone, keeping Maltese citizens out of poverty.

Alison Ding
Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Malta
Considerable progress has been made in addressing poverty in Malta. Malta has experienced substantial increases in its GDP, with a real GDP growth rate of 6.7% in 2017. The unemployment rate in 2018 was also relatively low at 3.7%, exhibiting a -2.5% change from 2012, compared to the European Union average of 6.8%. Malta has further experienced a positive improvement in almost all of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including no poverty and zero hunger. In addition, Malta is among one of the fastest-growing economies within the E.U., further exhibiting their ability to effectively address poverty.

What Is Being Done?

The government of Malta is fighting poverty through its National Strategic Policy for Poverty Reduction and for Social Inclusion 2014-2024. The strategy works to address poverty in Malta through a focus on income and benefits, employment, education, health and environment, social services and culture.

The national strategy has been successful in that it has led to continued increases in the figures for At Risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion (AROPE). Progress addressing poverty in Malta is also being measured by the World Bank, which found that from 2010 to 2015 the income of the bottom 40% in Malta experienced a 3.6% increase, a growth rate faster than the average of the total population.

Pushing Forward Further Progress

While Malta has experienced considerable improvements in addressing the 2030 SDGs, progress has stalled in addressing sustainable consumption and production, inequality and climate change. Malta has put forth policies to push forward progress with regard to these stalled SDGs.

The reform package measure “Making Work Pay” works to address inequalities through the introduction of a guaranteed minimum pension, reduced income tax and introduction and extension of in-work benefits. The success of these measures is evident through the country’s low unemployment rate and rising GDP. Additionally, gender inequalities continue to persist in terms of employment. However, the rate of women in employment has seen a considerable increase in recent years. The fact that the gender employment gap has reduced by 4.6% from 2015 to 2018 demonstrates this.

Despite the fact that progress addressing climate change in Malta has stalled, when compared to other countries within the E.U., Malta is among the countries with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 addresses the lack of progress in regard to climate change, as well as envisions the eradication of poverty and social exclusion.

Tourism in Malta

The Maltese government is also using tourism, a major contributor to their economic development, as a means of pushing forward the green economic transition and progress towards sustainable consumption and production and climate change. The restoration of historical and cultural sites in the country is making this progress possible. One such example is the restoration of the Grand Master’s Palace in Malta. Tourism contributes to the alleviation of poverty in Malta by increasing economic opportunities and generating taxable economic growth which can be used towards poverty alleviation.

While work is still needed in Malta in areas such as climate change and the gender employment gap, poverty in Malta is well on its way to meeting its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

– Leah Bordlee
Photo: Flickr

Malta is a small island republic in the central Mediterranean Sea. Like most other EU member states, the Maltese government operates a socialized health care scheme. However, life expectancy in Malta is a full year higher than the European Union average, for both males and females. Keep reading to learn the top 10 facts about life expectancy in Malta.

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Malta

  1. Trends: Life expectancy in Malta ranks 15th globally and continues to rise; the current average life expectancy is 82.6, an improvement of 4.6 percent this millennium. Median life expectancy on the archipelago is expected to improve at that same rate through 2050, reaching an average death age of 86.4.
  2. Leading Causes of Death: The WHO pinpointed coronary heart disease as the republic’s number one killer, accounting for 32.46 percent of all deaths in 2018. Additional top killers include stroke (10.01 percent) and breast cancer (3.07 percent).
  3. Health Care System: Malta’s sophisticated and comprehensive state-managed health care system embodies universal coverage for the population. Although population growth and an aging workforce present long-term challenges, the Maltese have access to universal public health care as well as private hospitals. Malta’s health care spending and doctors per capita are above the EU average. Despite this, specialists remain fairly low. Currently, the government is working to address this lack of specialized care.
  4. Infant and Maternal Health: The high life expectancy in Malta is positively impacted by low infant and maternal mortality rates. Malta’s infant and maternal mortality rates are among the lowest in the world, ranking at 181 and 161, respectively. The Maltese universal health care system provides free delivery and postpartum care for all expectant mothers. These measures provided as the standard of care have minimized the expectant death rates of new mothers to 3.3 out of 100,000.
  5. Women’s Health: Like most other developed nations, Maltese women experience longer lives than men. Comparatively, WHO data predicts that women will live nearly four years longer, an average of 83.3 years to 79.6. Interestingly, the estimated gender ratio for 2020 indicates that the Malta population will skew to be slightly more male, specifically in the 65-and-over age bracket. 
  6. Sexual and Reproductive Health: Sexual health services, including family planning and STD treatment, are free of cost in Malta. Additionally, HIV prevalence is very low, at only 0.1 percent in 2016. These measures have certainly played a role in life expectancy in Malta.
  7. Violent Crime: Although crime rates typically spike during the summer, Malta’s tourist season, violence is generally not a concern. Despite fluctuations throughout the year, the national homicide rate remains low. Currently, homicide is resting at 0.9 incidents per 100,000 citizens.
  8. Obesity: Recently, 29.8 percent of the population was found to be obese, one of the highest figures in the EU. Even higher rates of obesity have been found in Maltese adolescents: 38 percent of 11-year-old boys and 32 percent of 11-year-old girls qualify as obese.
  9. Birth Rates: Sluggish population growth is typical throughout the developed world and Malta is no exception. Current data places the population growth rate at an estimated 0.87 percent. Out of 229 sovereign nations, Malta’s birth rate was ranked 192nd with 9.9 births per 1,000 citizens.
  10. Access to Medical Facilities: The competitive health care system supports high life expectancy in Malta by providing an abundant availability of hospitals and physicians per capita. Due to the archipelago’s small population, 4.7 hospital beds and 3.8 doctors exist for every 1,000 citizens.

These 10 facts about life expectancy in Malta highlight the strength of the health care system in the country. While rising rates of obesity are concerning, Malta has a strong track record of investing in the well-being of its citizens.

Dan Zamarelli
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in MaltaLocated in the middle of the Mediterranean, south of Italy, Malta is a country made up of a small set of islands full of life and unique culture. Geographically, Malta is just smaller than twice the size of Washington, D.C. and home to nearly 450,000 inhabitants. From 1814 to 1964, Malta was a British colony but has since established itself as a republic, become a member of the European Union and adopted the euro as its currency. Here are the top 10 facts about living conditions in Malta.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Malta

  1. Malta was the only member of the EU not to have legalized divorce up until 2011. Until then, if married couples wanted to divorce, they had to leave the country to do so. This is largely due to the Roman Catholic Church’s influence over the country’s more than 95 percent Catholic population. The legislation went into effect beginning October 2011, despite opposition from even the prime minister, who worried legalizing divorce would “weaken the family structure in Malta.”
  2. The most common form of transportation in Malta is driving by car. The country permits tourists to bring cars over to the islands for a maximum of six months. There are also rental cars available for those of age. Subsequently, traffic is highly congested. Alternative modes of transportation include taxis, buses and the karrozzin, traditional horse-drawn carriages that have been in use in Malta since the mid-19th century.
  3. Malta’s government offers comprehensive varieties of health care, as well as high-quality dental care, to citizens. People can find multiple pharmacies as well, along with two main hospitals and many health centers. Although Maltese is the main official language of the islands, people speak English across all hospitals, health care facilities and pharmacies.
  4. While Malta is not really a point of conflict or transnational problems, it does have a military branch named the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM). This military branch includes all aspects; air, naval and land. While there are not any real international relations issues, Malta does serve as a transshipment point for transportation of hashish — coming from cannabis — from North Africa into Western Europe.
  5. Britain’s military presence in Malta had a massive impact on the country’s economy up until its independence in 1964. Because Malta lacks enough natural resources and has a small, domestic economic market, it relies heavily on other nations for imports. The Maltese economy also leans on the shipbuilding and repair industry, but even that is becoming depleted further and further since gaining independence.
  6. In Malta, 29.8 percent of the population is obese, causing the country to rank 28th in the world for obesity. This is likely due to Maltese citizens’ heavy reliance on cars as opposed to walking or cycling. While some use bicycles, bicycling is largely unpopular due to the poor road conditions and heavy traffic. When not on main roads, it is a bit easier to navigate the streets on a bicycle, making it an increasingly popular mode of transportation.
  7. Literacy rates among citizens 15 years and older are essentially the same at 88 percent. The Maltese Constitution warrants that both men and women have equal rights in terms of employment. Malta established The Ministry of Social Development and Equal Status for Women and has allowed for more married women to participate in the workforce.
  8. Malta expanded education systems to include compulsory schooling for children ages five to 16 in the mid-1980s. As of 2005, Malta further reformed its the education system to include regional colleges that incorporated primary and secondary school educations in addition to a junior college. Malta also has two forms of higher education, the University of Malta at Msida and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology.
  9. Malta imports an abundance of fossil fuels in order to supply its energy. As Malta’s only natural mineral resource is limestone, used in construction, it has extremely limited clean energy resources.
  10. The youth unemployment rate in Malta is 10.30 percent as of April 2019. While this is not a huge portion of the population, youths (those under the age of 24) make up 11.44 percent of the Maltese population.

These top 10 facts about living conditions in Malta highlight that, in spite of the country’s tumultuous history, it has persisted. While there are aspects Malta must improve upon such as transportation reliance and employment rates, Malta is a tiny country with an impressive development story.

Emi Cormier
Photo: Flickr

The island nation of Malta, located off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, has been ruled by a variety of nations over the centuries because of its strategic location in the sea. It was not until 1964 that it received its independence from the United Kingdom. It is one of the world’s smallest countries, but it still has its struggles, especially with hunger in Malta.

In 2015, it was reported that 16.3 percent of the Maltese population was in poverty. Additionally, the percentage of children under 18 and adults over 65 who were victims of poverty were 23.4 and 21 percent respectively. Hunger in Malta is obviously linked to poverty, because these people cannot afford to adequately feed themselves and their families. Many even said they were unable to keep their homes warm enough during the winter.

There are currently 21,000 children at risk of poverty in Malta, most of whom come from large families or single-parent households. In both cases, the household income is below the poverty line and is not enough to feed them or give them a decent upbringing. Children from these families cannot even begin to think about getting an education because their nutritional needs are barely being met.

While there has been a relatively steady, albeit small, reduction in the rate of hunger and poverty in Malta, under the administration prior to that of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat there was a significant increase. The poverty rate jumped from 20 to 24 percent and food prices were rapidly increasing, making it even more difficult for Maltese people to feed their families. The very slowly growing income rate has not been able to counteract the rapidly rising cost of living in Malta.

While it has been said that Muscat has “no interest” in addressing the challenges of people of low economic status, he at least pledged to increase the minimum wage. While this is not by any means a grand plan for the reduction of poverty and hunger in Malta, it is at least a step in the right direction. Additionally, the previous head of the National Party indicated his hopes for the improvement of conditions for Maltese people in poverty, indicating that the party would do what it could to decrease poverty.

In December 2014, an official plan was set in place for poverty reduction. The plan from the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity puts 94 strategic actions in place through 2024.These strategies address poverty from specific angles such as social services, health and environment, culture, income and social benefits, education and employment. However, there are flaws in this plan too, as the ministry says part of the plan is to “empower vulnerable groups to become less welfare dependent.” This does not imply any concrete action, and suggests that Maltese people in poverty can simply “become” wealthier.

There is much to be done in Malta, and hopefully the government will put in place more concrete strategies for lifting their people out of poverty and reducing hunger. Until then, the ten-year plan will have to suffice, and should have some positive impact on people in poverty.

Liyanga De Silva

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in MaltaThe island of Malta is a mixed bag when it comes to health. On the one hand, the average life expectancy in Malta is 80 years, up from 75 years in 1990. On the other hand, there are still some recurring – and even increasing – health problems, courtesy of some of the common diseases in Malta.

Malta boasts one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world; however, adult obesity is also a common disease in the country. Malta has developed the Healthy Weight for Life Strategy 2012 as a response, among other initiatives. Ischemic heart disease is the biggest cause of fatalities, responsible for 22 percent of all deaths in Malta in 2003. In addition, Malta has the highest rate of diabetes in Europe, despite an average calorie consumption comparable to much of the rest of the continent. This can be attributed to the high rate of sugar consumption in Malta.

A number of common diseases in Malta stem from the high rates of smoking there. Fortunately, the Ministry of Health has taken steps to inform the populace about the dangers of smoking. To this end Malta has ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003. Asthma is also common in Malta, partially because of the aforementioned popularity of cigarettes, but also due to the hot and humid climate.

There is still some good news regarding Malta’s general health. Some of this can be credited to Malta joining the European Union in 2004. Although also common diseases in Malta, the rates of cardiovascular diseases and cancer have been going down. In addition, Malta has taken a number of steps to be more proactive about mental health, such as the Mental Health Act of 2013, which was implemented to protect the rights of mental health patients. There have also been plans to address the needs of dementia sufferers.

While there are still a number of serious common diseases in Malta along with some other continuing health concerns, it is clear that the country is taking steps in the right direction to combat these diseases and hopefully the country will continue to see progress into the future.

Andrew Revord

Photo: Pixabay

Causes of Poverty in Malta

For the island nation of Malta, poverty is an issue that must be addressed, especially with recent data that suggests that not only is poverty a persistent issue within this country, but also an issue that is on the rise. The causes of poverty in Malta are important to understand in order to address this issue.

Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Italy, and is comprised of a population of over 400,000 people. Of the 400,000 people who live on this island, 16.3 percent live below the poverty line, according to a 2015 estimate. Furthermore, according to European Union (EU) statistics, Malta is one of 14 European countries that experienced an increase in poverty between 2008 and 2014. After Greece, Spain and Cyprus, Malta experienced the fourth greatest increase in poverty during this period.

One cause of poverty in Malta is unemployment; an estimated 4.8 percent of Maltese people are unemployed. Nevertheless, there are many positive signs which indicate positive growth for Malta’s economy that could alleviate unemployment for many. The Maltese economy is strongly dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing and tourism, which have contributed to an economy that has grown 4.5 percent per year – the largest growth of any European country between 2014 and 2016.

There are also certain groups of Maltese people who are more vulnerable to being affected by poverty. Those that have been victims of violence and neglect, the mentally ill, immigrants, the disabled and those from single-parent households are more likely to live in poverty and therefore rely on social services. In particular, poverty affects the elderly – those over 65 – on this island at a significantly higher rate – 22 percent – than other age groups in the population. Many of those who are particularly vulnerable to poverty have also been pushed in that direction by falling into a pattern of being heavily indebted.

Despite the recent trend toward poverty, Malta is largely heading in a positive direction. Economically, the country is thriving and this economic growth could increase the unemployment rate and be used to further guarantee social services that could alleviate poverty for at-risk groups of people. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work to be done and the causes of poverty in Malta need to be addressed fully in order to see progress.

Jennifer Faulkner

Photo: Flickr


In 2015, statistics showed that hunger and poverty in Malta have become a consistent issue. Moreover, 16.3 percent of the population was considered “at-risk” for monetary poverty. The average disposable income for individual households was less than EUR 26,000 per year.

The phenomena of hunger and poverty in Malta, as well as severe material deprivation, results from several factors. These include low income, social exclusion and low work intensity. Nearly half of the Maltese population has indicated an inability to afford even one week of vacation during the year.

Individuals living in single family homes face the greatest risk of falling below the median poverty threshold. When there is one less person in the home, there is one less steady income.

According to the Nationalist Party (NP), poverty levels continue to rise for the Maltese population. The cost of food, fuel and medicine increase steadily, despite a recent yet slight increase in job salaries. As a result, those living in impoverished states continue to face the unfortunate repercussions of low income levels.

Furthermore, the increase in costs for the basic necessities of life has had a ripple effect on lower income individuals who were already struggling. Therefore, the slight rise in income levels has not been able to offset the rising costs of living.

In 2016, 21,000 Maltese children were classified as being at risk for poverty — 28.2 percent of the population. In response to the disconcerting rates of hunger and poverty in Malta, the NP has voiced its discontent by citing a lack of care by the country’s current government. According to the NP, the number of at-risk persons has risen to 94,250. Eighty-eight thousand individuals were at risk prior to the last election.

There are roughly 24,000 children who come from low-income families facing material deprivations including food deprivation. Their families are in grave need of social assistance from the government. Furthermore, suggested solutions for eradicating poverty and social exclusion include “investing in more educational equality and in strengthening the family,” as well as providing adequate support for individuals who cannot work due to mental or physical problems.

Lael Pierce

Photo: Flickr