Report: 150m more children plunged into poverty due to pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown measures have pushed 150 million more children into poverty, news wires reported, citing an analysis published by UNICEF and Save the Children on Thursday.

Since the start of the outbreak, there has been a 15% increase in the number of children living in deprivation in low and middle-income nations, taking the total number to around 1.2bn, the organisations said. The report notes that the world's poorest children are getting poorer, and warns that the situation will likely deteriorate further in the coming months.

"Families on the cusp of escaping poverty have been pulled back in, while others are experiencing levels of deprivation they have never seen before," UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said in a press release. "Most concerningly, we are closer to the beginning of this crisis than its end."

The agencies called on governments to rapidly expand social protection systems, access to health care and remote learning opportunities. "Children who lose out on education are more likely to be forced into child labour or early marriage and be trapped in a cycle of poverty for years to come," Save the Children chief executive Inger Ashing said.

The analysis looked at data from more than 70 countries on whether children are deprived of education, medicine, housing, food, sanitation and water.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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