Ukraine war pushes 4 million children into poverty: UN

PARIS: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the consequent economic downturn have plunged four million children into poverty across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the United Nations children’s agency said on Monday.
Unicef ​​said: “Children are bearing the heaviest burden of the economic crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.
Conflict and rising inflation have pushed an additional 4 million children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia into poverty, a 19% increase since 2021,” the report said.
Unicef ​​drew its conclusions from a study of data from 22 countries.
Russian and Ukrainian children have been affected the most since Moscow’s attack on the neighboring country in February.
“Russia accounts for almost three-quarters of the total number of children living in poverty that has increased due to Ukraine War and a region-wide cost-of-living crisis, with an additional 2.8 million children now living in households below the poverty line,” Unicef ​​said.
The hit to the Russian economy from Western sanctions combines with the country’s large population to create a dominant effect.
“Ukraine is home to an additional half a million children living in poverty, the second largest proportion,” UNICEF added.
Romania follows closely behind, with more than 110,000 poor children.
Afshan Khan, Unicef ​​Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, said: “Children across the region are being caught up in the terrible awakening of this war.
“If we do not support these children and families now, the rapid increase in child poverty will almost certainly lead to degraded lives, loss of education and loss of future. future.”
The poorer a family, the agency explains, the greater the proportion of their income that they have to spend on food and fuel, resulting in less health care and education for children.
They are also “highly at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse”.
This could translate to 4,500 more children dying before their first birthday and 117,000 more dropping out of school this year alone, Unicef ​​said.


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