Russia war in Ukraine pushes 4 million children into poverty: UN

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation have pushed some four million children into poverty across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to the United Nations children agency.

“Children are bearing the heaviest burden of the economic crisis caused by the war in Ukraine,” UNICEF said on Monday.

The conflict “and rising inflation have driven an additional four million children across Eastern Europe and Central Asia into poverty, a 19 percent increase since 2021”, it said.

UNICEF drew its conclusions from a study of data from 22 countries.

Russian and Ukrainian children have been most affected since Moscow attacked its neighbor in February.

“Russia accounts for nearly three-quarters of the total increase in the number of children living in poverty due to the Ukraine war and a cost-of-living crisis across the region, with an additional 2.8 million children now living in households below the poverty line,” UNICEF found.

The blow to Russia’s economy from Western sanctions has combined with its large population to produce an outsize effect.

“Ukraine is home to half a million additional children living in poverty, the second largest share,” UNICEF added.

Romania followed closely behind, with a further 110,000 children living in poverty.

Agencies

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