TBILISI, DFWatch–A new study presented on Monday shows that every fifth child in Georgia is living in poverty.
The findings in the welfare monitoring study, a household survey published every two years by United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF), emphasized that despite the increase in families’ consumption, every sixth child lives under subsistence minimum in the post-Soviet country with a population of 3.7 million.
This means that they have fewer chances to get an education than their peers growing up in more affluent families.
Although the poverty indicators have decreased, children still remain the most vulnerable group in the country, Laila Omar Gad told DFWatch. She is UNICEF’s representative in Georgia.
“Georgia’s social protection system must respond to the vulnerabilities experienced by its people, especially children. Protecting children’s rights is more urgent than ever, and a critical key to building stronger, more stable societies. We need to invest more in reaching the most vulnerable children, or pay the price in slower growth, greater inequality, and less stability,” Omar Gad said.
According to the study, child poverty is almost twice as high in rural as in urban areas.
Increased prices, serious illness and a decrease in household income were reported as the main problems faced by people.
“To combat social exclusion, it is important to develop a multisectoral strategy for children’s rights that will envisage stronger social protection, health and education systems to ensure better life for every child in Georgia,” the UNICEF representative concluded.