Cost of Living in Cyprus
Cyprus is a small island in the Eastern Mediterranean and is the third-largest and third most populated island in the Mediterranean. Despite being an island, the cost of living in Cyprus is relatively low. The prices are about 25% lower than those in other Northern European countries.

There are many inexpensive commodities in Cyprus, such as the local seasonal fruit. Rent and utility bills are also relatively cheap on the island, especially water bills and electricity. Basic utilities are usually around 128 euros a month. The more expensive commodities in Cyprus are internet access, milk and clothing. Most of the milk is imported to the island, which raises the price. There are very limited options for clothing, and most are very expensive. Online shopping is an option, but internet costs upwards of 42 euros per month, making it a luxury.

A comfortable net income in Cyprus is between 10,251.61 euros and 11,960.21 euros annually. After the euro was introduced to the island, the prices there rose overall. The euro is still fairly new, so not everything has been affected yet, but the prices are predicted to rise further, including those of produce, utilities and clothing.

The island has a slow pace of life, which refers to the rate at which commodities are fixed when they break. People go days or weeks without electricity when there is an outage because the relaxed pace of life means that the electricity is not a top priority. This lifestyle can be nice but also has its downsides, especially with the unemployment problem in Cyprus.

This lifestyle and high unemployment rate both affect the cost of living in Cyprus. Cyprus has a lack of available jobs, which affects the country’s economy and its citizens’ decision-making. With the decreased income and the increasing cost of living in Cyprus, limitations are placed upon decision-making. Less becomes affordable for families and, in turn, can increase poverty rates. The unemployment rate has shrunk the economy, impacting the cost of living in Cyprus.

A somewhat positive impact on the country’s cost of living in Cyprus is the low transportation costs. Buses are cheaply available, but there are no active train systems, and these buses are unreliable. Most people rely on private taxis, instead of the bus systems, but these are more expensive. The citizens have been informed that a train system will be installed within a 15-year time frame.

Luckily, housing is quite affordable in Cyprus. The ultimate problems for the country are unemployment and price increases due to the introduction of the euro. These problems should be the focus of improving the cost of living in Cyprus.

Katelynn Kenworthy

Photo: Pixabay


With years of government instability and a decade of war, Iraqi’s have had to suffer through harsh economic woes. With the lack of infrastructure and only the very beginnings of a stable government, the average Iraqi has been affected by the economy the most. Here are 10 things you need to know about unemployment in Iraq.

  1. As of 2016, the unemployment in Iraq reached 16 percent. For the last decade, Iraq’s unemployment has stayed alarmingly stagnant with the lowest year for unemployment being 2014, with a 15 percent unemployment rate.
  2. The Iraqi population, currently at 34 million, is predicted to reach 50 million by 2030.
  3. The Iraq government employs 40 percent of the population, but, 48 percent of those jobs can only be found in urban areas.
  4. Fifty percent of Iraq’s population is under the age of 19, but the youth population (ages 14-24) is highly affected by the economic woes leading to unemployment in Iraq. Eighteen percent of youth are unemployed.
  5. Ninety-nine percent of the government’s revenue is made by the oil sector, but only one percent of Iraqis work in the oil sector.
  6. Due to the high increasing tensions with the Islamic State rising in Iraq, oil companies are beginning to pull out a number of their facilities within the nation. In 2015, Chevron, the second-largest oil company in the U.S., pulled out two of its oil blocks. Last December, Exxon Mobil, the largest oil company in the U.S., pulled out three of its six blocks in Kurdistan. This type of sudden movement out of Iraq leads to loss of revenue for the government and has also led to the investment of other companies being halted. All of these factors highly affect the unemployment in Iraq.
  7. Five million Iraqis live in Kurdistan, one of the poorest areas in the nation. In 2015, Kurds were affected when 700,000 lost their jobs.
  8. Currently, 23 percent of people in Iraq live below the poverty line.
  9. The Iraqi government has tried to make a difference in the poverty levels. In 2015, the Ministry of Planning implemented a program aimed at ending poverty, which consisted of a five-year plan to decrease poverty to 10 percent. At the end of that same year, the MoP confirmed that its plan had failed, and no new attempts have been made since.
  10. The increasing influx of refugees has put a harsh strain on the already crippling economy of Iraq. As of 2015, two million refugees had been displaced all over Iraq because of conflicts with the Islamic State.

It is apparent that Iraq is in need of a new strategy to help restore its economy. Hopefully action is taken before the country falls into further disrepair.

Maria Rodriguez

Photo: Flickr

 Orphanages

After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, an influx of international aid entered the country. This relief funded the construction of many orphanages housing about 32,000 children.

Out of 760 orphanages, roughly 80 percent of these children have living parents who want to take care of them, but lack access to adequate health, education and social services.

Shelley Clay and her husband moved to Port-Au-Prince in 2008. They were looking to adopt a child but quickly discovered the overflow of children whose parents still continued to visit them. On one block, according to Clay, there were 20 orphanages which essentially operated as 24/7 day-care services.

Clay found famished young boys were stealing eggs from their equally impoverished neighbors. Single mothers were looking for work, but the market was limited.

To provide context, here are some more facts on poverty in Haiti:

  • Haiti ranks 168 out of 187 on the 2014 Human Development Index, according to UNDP.
  • The World Bank announced 59 percent of the population lived on less than $2 per day in 2012.
  • Over two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs, according to the World Factbook.

In 2008, there were 380,000 orphaned Haitian children. Clay found many of the missionaries wanting to make a difference by investing in the construction of orphanages fueled a larger problem. With public housing services, feeding programs and food aid, the problem is never corrected, Clay told Deseret News.

She realized creating jobs would start to solve the issue one family at a time, so she launched a non-profit program called the Apparent Project. Clay saves many children from orphanages, keeping families together, by providing them work and a roof over their head.

Over the last couple years, she has helped 220 people gain income by transforming Haiti’s garbage into an object value — jewelry. Clay provides jobs to local women by recycling these natural resources for basic life necessities.

Now the artisanal jewelry is sold in home tupperware-style parties and small partnerships with stores, such as the GAP and Donna Karan. In December of 2011, The Apparent Project sold $100,000 in jewelry. This moved Haitian employees from conditions of poverty to middle class status while saving children from orphanages.

Rachel Williams

Photo: Flickr

7 Facts: The Focus on Slowing Poverty In Lithuania
Lithuania is one of the three European Baltic States and also a new addition to the Eurozone. While the country faces a serious problem with rural poverty, recent indicators and initiatives suggest that Lithuania is a country on the rise.

  1. Lithuania is a high-income country. Lithuania is considered a high-income country by the World Bank. Its GNI per capita, total income claimed by residents divided by the population, is about $15,000 per year. This is significantly higher than that of Russia ($11000) but less than half of the average in the EU which stands at $34000.
  2. Very few people in Lithuania are desperately poor. Extreme or desperate poverty isn’t common in Lithuania, less than one percent of the population lives on less than one dollar a day.
  3. Poverty in Lithuania is widespread but shallow. While very few Lithuanians are extremely poor, many live in moderate poverty. Lithuania’s poverty line is set at LTL 811 ($265), and around 20 percent of the population lives below this measure.
  4. Poverty is centered in rural areas. One-third of the population live in rural areas, with half of the population employed in agriculture.
  5. Lithuania has a transitioning economy. In 2015, it became the 19th economy to use the euro. The economy of Lithuania seems to be shifting towards a knowledge-based one, as information and communication technologies are its fastest-growing sectors. However, after being hit incredibly hard by the recession in 2008, the growth of the economy has slowed in recent years.
  6. Lithuania has comparatively low unemployment and inequality levels. Despite the relatively high poverty rate in Lithuania, other development indicators like unemployment and income inequality are somewhat low. Unemployment stands at 8 percent, which is lower than in France or Italy, and the World Bank’s income inequality indicator, the GINI index, suggests that Lithuania has higher income equality than the U.S., and is comparable to that of Canada.

The EU plans to invest heavily over the next few years. The EU plans to invest $7 billion in aid to Lithuania by 2020, with the main focus on infrastructure. Other major points of investment are in renewable energy and quality employment. With continuing economic growth and help from the EU, poverty numbers may be driven down in the coming years.

John English

Photo: Flickr

poverty in the bahamas

While many Americans flock to the Bahamas for relaxing beach vacations, these tourists may not think about the economic hardships faced by their island hosts. Here are seven facts about the condition of poverty in the Bahamas:

  1. The poverty rate in the Bahamas currently sits at 12.5 percent. In 2001, the poverty rate was 9.3 percent. In 2014, the poverty line in the Bahamas stood at $4,247 compared to $2,863 as recorded in 2001.
  2. The current poverty rate is the highest for those in the under-20 demographic. Chairman of Citizens for Justice Bishop Walter Hanchell explained this statistic to The Freeport News, saying many recent high school graduates have trouble finding work as they lack the necessary skills.
  3. Unemployment contributes a great deal to poverty in the Bahamas. In 2013, unemployment was recorded at 16.2 percent and has gone down to 15.4 percent according to the 2014 Labor Force Survey. Bahamian scholar Rochelle R. Dean shared her thoughts on unemployment with Tribune242, saying, “the Bahamas has the resources, tools and labour force to reduce the unemployment rate, but lacks the vision and ambition to do so.”
  4. According to the Household Expenditure Survey, larger families are more likely to be in poverty, with 32 percent of households with seven or more members living below the poverty line.
  5. Haitians living in the Bahamas have the highest rate of poverty at 37.69 percent, although Haitians represent only 7.48 percent of the Bahamian population. The poverty rates among the islands in the Bahamas vary greatly: poverty rates are the highest within the Family Islands and lowest in Grand Bahama.
  6. Households led by women are more likely to face poverty in the Bahamas (9.7 percent) than households led by men (7.9 percent). According to the Nassau Guardian, women represent slightly more of the poor population at 51.83 percent.
  7. In 2012, 10,000 people received financial aid from the Bahamian government, an astounding increase from the 3,000 people in 2004.

Although multiple leaders in the Bahamas are at odds about how to improve the economy, all agree that something must be done, soon. With increasing poverty and unemployment rates, the citizens and leaders of the Bahamas must find a way to come together to improve these conditions.

Carrie Robinson

Photo: Flickr