Society & Culture

Maldives reveals 8764 people registered below poverty line in 2019

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, on Wednesday, announced that this year 8,764 persons registered as living below the nation’s poverty line, that is, people that are unemployed or earning equal to or less than MVR 74 (approximately USD 4.8) per day.

The figure makes for less than 1.7 per cent of the country’s total population and was compiled by the ministry for the purpose of distributing Zakat Al Fitr.

Prior to the Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, every adult Muslim possessing food in excess of their needs is required (Wajib) to make a donation, known as Zakat Al Fitr, or Zakat (charity) before the Fitr (fasting, or iftar period) draws to an end.

Speaking to Mihaaru News, a ministry spokesperson confirmed that this year, ‘Zakat’ donations would be distributed to those registered on the 2019 poverty listing.

According to ministry officials, the list was most recently updated in September 2019, at which point the number of persons was noted to have decreased nearly by half.

Earlier, the registry noted 16, 209 persons, with 3,300 applicants hailing from the capital city of Male’. However, by Septemeber, the number of Male’ citizens had too dropped to 1,717.

In light of government offices being closed and with the capital city under lockdown over the local COVID-19 outbreak amid the ongoing global pandemic, the ministry is now accepting ‘Zakat’ via its online portal.

As the COVID19 pandemic brings about severe economic repercussions world-wide, the Maldivian government has, in-kind, noted rising rates of unemployment and homelessness. Therefore, it is likely that the number of people presently living below the country’s poverty line is much higher.

With over 70 per cent of the country’s GDP is attributed to revenue generated by the tourism industry, The World Bank estimates the Maldives to be the worst hit, economically, in the South Asian region.

Meanwhile, experts estimate that the global economy may continue to take even more hits as COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate around the globe.

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL: Google News

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