In 2017, 8.4% of the Italian population lived in absolute poverty. Poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon that extends beyond the absence of earnings and income. Poverty refers to the overall person’s experience of rights’ deprivation including limited access to education and other basic services, unemployment, disempowerment and social marginalization.

Children, young people and women are among the most affected groups. Poverty is transmitted from one generation to another with children from poor families who are more likely to become poor adults themselves. Gender and poverty are also linked. In Italy, only 48,3% of women aged 15-64 years old are employed. Finally, 10% of young people aged 18-34 years old live in absolute poverty.

Poverty reduction policies

Poverty reduction policies take many forms including promoting economic growth, reducing unemployment and providing benefits to the poor. Italy is one of the European countries where social spending has the least impact on reducing poverty.

ActionAid works to ensure the effective implementation of poverty reduction policies by monitoring institutional accountability and transparency and strengthening the capacity of all stakeholders involved from the recipients of these policies to the decision-makers. To maximize its impact, ActionAid has joined two important national networks working on public policies: Forum Inequalities Diversity and Alliance Against Poverty.

Youth poverty

Youth living in poverty have access to poor quality education opportunities, are at higher risk of early school leaving and drop-out, and have less opportunities to access the job market. Youth poverty may produce ‘scarring effects’ in their later life that involves material deprivation, limited social participation as well as inadequate access to social, economic and political rights.

ActionAid implements projects aimed to address and combat school drop-out, youth unemployment, social exclusion and marginalization by improving the cooperation between schools, families,  communities and private sector actors and strengthening the active role of youth.

Welfare community

The idea of welfare community is born from the acknowledgement that the welfare state has limited resources. In this regard, it complements State’s responsibility and improves the collaboration between social actors and the State in the provision of services.

ActionAid works to create spaces where communities are active in co-designing policies and co-managing resources for public services through capacity building, empowerment and lobbying.


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