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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

New report indicates Samoa experiencing ‘relative poverty’

The latest report launched by the government’s Statistics Division indicates Samoa is in a state of ‘relative poverty.’

Government Statistician Muagututi’a Reupena described ‘relative poverty’ as when there isn’t much wealth but you still attain the amount that you need for everyday survival.

“It is unlike the poverty we see in the world outside of our island where people just have completely nothing, no home, no food, no clothes even,” said Muagututia.

According to Muagututia, beggars and people living on the streets in Apia are in a state of “poverty by choice.”

 “There are many kinds of poverty. The few you have seen on the streets, those are in a state called ‘poverty by choice’ because they all have families where they belong, but they still choose to spend their days in town, roaming and begging,” said Muagututia.

 “Everyone has got a family in Samoa. If you don’t have bananas in your plantation for food tonight you call your aunt or uncle next door for some from their plantation and they gladly give it to you. Because of these advantages, Samoa isn’t suitable to be called a state in poverty,” he added.

The report states, 97% of Samoan households depend on agriculture for daily food needs and monetary income.

A Samoan family’s wealth is evident during family occasion such as funerals and weddings.

“You would know a family has no one who works or a big plantation. But when these occasions pile up, you see a huge container with boxes of tinned mackerel in them,” he said.

“Our culture, is what make us unfit of being classified as a nation in a poverty crisis,” he said.

However, Muagututia is also aware that a lot of families who are already struggling, tend to struggle even more to earn and acquire the materials needed and demanded during such occasions.

An issue that the Statistics office is trying to determine is whether the insensitive needs for a family occasion contributes to the struggles within Samoan families.

With more questions left unanswered, the only clear sign for the experts now is that by culture we are saved and by culture we sometimes, struggle. Loop Samoa

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 10:25 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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