Child poverty up in rich world since start of recession

Child poverty has increased in the rich world since the onset of the global recession in 2008, according to a new report from Unicef.

Child poverty has increased in the rich world since the onset of the global recession in 2008, according to a new report from Unicef.

The report says that the proportion of children living in poverty in the UK has increased from 24 per cent to 25.6 per cent. Meanwhile Greece and Iceland have seen the biggest percentage increases in child poverty, followed by Latvia, Croatia and Ireland.

Overall 18 of the 41 countries in the study have seen falls in child poverty, with Chile achieving the biggest reduction from 31.4 per cent to 22.8 per cent.

Norway has the lowest child poverty rate, at 5.3 per cent, whereas Greece has the highest, at 40.5 per cent. The rate in the US is 32 per cent.

The report said:

“In the past five years, rising numbers of children and their families have experienced difficulty in satisfying their most basic material and educational needs.

“Unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s have left many families unable to provide the care, protection and opportunities to which children are entitled. Most importantly, the Great Recession is about to trap a generation of educated and capable youth in a limbo of unmet expectations and lasting vulnerability.”

The percentage of households with children unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish or a vegetable equivalent every second day has doubled in four European countries since 2008 – Estonia, Greece, Iceland and Italy.

The country with the highest rate of Neets was Israel, with 30.7 per cent. The largest absolute increases in the percentage of Neets were in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Romania.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) recently forecast that coalition cuts and employment trends would mean that, by 2020, a quarter of all children (3.4 million) would be living in poverty, reversing reductions in child poverty that took place under Labour between 2000 and 2010.

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