Living standards in small towns surrounding megacities have traditionally been inferior not only to those in capital cities, but even to those in settlements located much further away from economic centres. Such areas are often referred to as the “poverty belt”.

The reason for the economic lag, in this case, is the geographical proximity to megalopolises that draw the most active population from the regions.
In Belarus, the “poverty belt” includes 19 districts of the Minsk region. In these cities the poverty rate is significantly higher than in the country as a whole. In times of economic crisis, the residents of the cities adjacent to Minsk are the first to be hit. The Civic Campaign “Our House” launched an initiative to overcome the consequences of the geographically disadvantageous location of the settlements in the so-called “poverty belt”.