Latvia: Number of poor people asking for food aid rising in Riga

The number of poor people in need of assistance in Latvia has been decreasing in recent years in the regions of Kurzeme and Latgale, but has increased in the capital, Riga, according to the state-run Society Integration Foundation (SIF), LSM reports. More than 20% of all poor and low-income people received food aid and basic supplies in Riga in 2019, but the share increased to almost 33% in 2023. Altogether 21,000 people received aid in Riga in 2023, and 50% of them were children and senior citizens. SIF warned that the organisation has already spent 40% of its four-year aid budget available until 2027. The Ministry of Welfare is discussing ways to find additional funding.