The headcount of homeless people in North Macedonia has been completed and the initial number stands at around 350. All that remains now is to conduct the census throughout the country, starting April 1, Minister of Labor and Social Policy Jagoda Shahpaska said on Thursday.
During a visit to the new Day Care Center for Children and Youth with Intellectual Disability at the Institute for Rehabilitation of Children and Youth, the Minister stressed that the census is a safe and fundamental statistical operation.
“Census takers have undergone special training on how to protect themselves by wearing face masks, shields and gloves, as well as how to protect people in the households they visit,” said Shahpaska.
Society, she underlined, has continued to function amid a pandemic.
“All of us are going about our daily routine. We go to work, we buy food, go to the doctor. Conducting the census is crucial, in line with protocols. It’s especially important for the Labor Ministry because the data we have on the size of the categories of citizens whose issues we’re addressing has not been updated in 20 years,” the Minister stressed.
She noted that knowing the number of pensioners in North Macedonia is important because it generates the need to build retirement homes. Also important is the number of people with disabilities, which according to the WHO is 15% of the general population, while only 33 people are currently under 24 hour care at the assisted boarding house in the country.
“Another important number is that of children, because it dictates the need for pre-school education and the number of kindergartens the Labor Ministry should open. Quality policies are based on real, objective data, acquired through the census, as a statistical operation conducted simultaneously across the country,” Shahpaska said.