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Kyrgyzstan: Poverty Spreading, Says World Bank

Bishkek, 29 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - A World Bank-sponsored study says poverty is spreading in Kyrgyzstan with almost half the country's population now living in beggarly conditions.

According to the study, which was released yesterday, last year 49 percent of Kyrgyz families lived below the poverty level. At the same time 43 percent of the country's income went to just 10 percent of its citizens.

The study also says an average Kyrgyz family spends more than half of its income on food. The situation is worst in the Osh and Jalalabad regions, where more than 70 percent of the population lives in beggarly conditions.