The UN children’s aid organization Unicef said on Monday. As a result of the conflict and the resulting inflation, the number of poor children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia increased by 19 percent within a year.
UNICEF bases its report on data from 22 countries. Accordingly, the effects of the war on children in Russia and Ukraine are particularly strong. According to the report, Russia accounts for three quarters of the increase in children living in poverty, where the number of poor children increased by 2.8 million as a result of the war. According to UNICEF, the number of poor children in Ukraine has increased by half a million because of the war. In third place is Romania, where the number of children living in poverty increased by 110,000.
“Children across the region are being drawn into the horrific effects of this war,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director. If the affected children and their families do not get help quickly, “the precipitous rise in child poverty will almost certainly mean lost lives, lost learning and lost futures”.
The poorer a family is, the higher the proportion of income they have to spend on food and fuel and the less is left for children’s education and health care, Unicef warned. Children living in poverty are also more likely to be at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse.
The UN children’s aid organization warned that the increase in child poverty this year alone could result in an additional 4,500 children dying before they reach the age of one and 117,000 children dropping out of school.