Montenegro is a small Balkan country in Eastern Europe. Although hunger in Montenegro is not as severe as it is in many other countries, it is still a problem for many citizens there.
Montenegro has struggled with unemployment for several years. An alarming 16.9 percent of eligible workers are unemployed, and 48.43 percent of all children in poverty live in households where no one is employed. What’s more, many of the income sources that are available are often unreliable.
UNICEF reports that many private employers have failed to provide insurance to the employees or failed to pay for labor. Because of this, entitlement and welfare programs are usually the most reliable forms of income. However, many who could benefit from this assistance do not receive it and it is often not enough.
Hunger in Montenegro is largely caused by poverty, stemming from this unemployment. The absolute poverty line in Montenegro is €169.13, and 10 percent of children 18 years or younger live below this line. UNICEF states that these children’s basic food and non-food needs are not being met.
Additionally, the food that is purchased in these impoverished households regularly lacks in quality, creating nutrition concerns for the children. At the same time, parents have reported going without food for days on end to ensure their children have enough to eat.
Parents also report that their children sometimes do not eat at all throughout the school day. This is either because they simply have no food at home or they do not bring lunch from home out of shame, as this is a sign of poverty. Since many parents cannot afford snacks for their children to purchase, some children spend up to eight hours in hunger in Montenegro schools.
While unemployment is still very high, which is the main contributor to hunger in Montenegro, the government reports that employment will increase by 1.2 percent each year. This would drop the unemployment rate to 16.6 percent by the close of 2019. It also reports its intentions of implementing grant programs to assist with employment.
Montenegro has already made shy improvements in employment. The number of unemployed persons dropped by 1.1 percent and there were 3.4 percent more employed persons since the last quarter of 2016. Although this is not very significant, the government of Montenegro revises its economic goals on a regular basis and appears dedicated to reducing the poverty within the country.
Montenegro should provide every citizen with adequate means of survival and ensure no child goes to school unfed.
– Emma Tennyson