Alexander Ankvab: We should not fear apartment hotels, but COVID and road fatalities

Alexander Ankvab, former President of Abkhazia (2011-2014) and current Prime Minister of Abkhazia.

Alexander Ankvab, former President of Abkhazia (2011-2014) and current Prime Minister of Abkhazia.

SUKHUM / AQW'A —  We should not fear apartment hotels, but illnesses like COVID and fatalities on the roads," stated Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab. His remarks were made at an off-site meeting with activists of the Ochamchira district, held by President Aslan Bzhania on Tuesday, July 18. During the meeting, the Prime Minister also provided some statistics on birth and death rates in the republic.

In an attempt to underline the severity of these issues, Prime Minister Ankvab divulged some critical demographic statistics. Since 1994, the birth-death ratio in Abkhazia, accounting for a 2-3% correction, has observed 48,520 births versus 40,163 deaths, resulting in a net population increase of 8,357 individuals.

"Here are the figures for Abkhazians who were born and died: 31,462 were born, 12,833 died. Here, the number of births exceeds the number of deaths by 18,629. These numbers are addressed to those who cover their heads in ashes, who link demography with apartment hotels, hotels, and excursions," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister used these figures to address critics who have been vocal about linking population dynamics to the growth of apartment hotels, regular hotels, and increased tourism. In Ankvab's view, the country's demographic concerns extend far beyond these areas.

Ankvab emphasized the grim demographic impact of COVID-19. In 2020, 955 Abkhazians were born, but by 2021, the number of Abkhazian births had decreased by 100. In 2022, a further reduction of 200 was observed. Ankvab declared, "This is what should be feared; this is where the real demographic threat lies."

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Moreover, he pointed out that problems such as the early detection of diseases, the current state of healthcare, traffic accidents, and drug use are the real dangers to the nation's demography. With Abkhazians making up approximately 90% of all fatalities in car accidents, he called for a serious and respectable debate on reducing these figures.

Ankvab concluded his remarks by cautioning against politicizing these issues. He denounced speculations around economic aspects, saying, "We will not let them do it, we will come to power, and do it ourselves." He insisted that this standpoint applies not only to apartment hotels but also to broader societal issues.




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