The impact of the war in Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Asia

Ukrainian child. Ukrainian child. UNICEF/UN0597340/Filippov

17 October 2022

At the beginning of October, UNICEF published a new report concerning the impact of the war in Ukraine on child poverty.

One of the dramatic effects of the current conflict in Ukraine is the dramatic increase of child poverty in the Eastern part of Europe and Central Asia. On the 17 of October, UNICEF published a new report concerning this alarming crisis titled “The impact of the war in Ukraine and subsequent economic downturn on child poverty in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. According to the statistics in the report, which considers data from 22 countries, child poverty in these parts of the world has increased by 19% - approximately 40% of the 10.4 million new people living in poverty this year are children.

About this, the UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan appeals to the international community: “Children all over the region are being swept up in this war’s terrible wake. (…) The steep rise in child poverty will almost certainly result in lost lives, lost learning, and lost futures.” In fact, the effects of child poverty go far beyond financially struggling households. According to the study, the steep increase might cause an additional 4,500 infant deaths before their first birthday and learning losses could result in an additional 117,000 school dropouts this year alone. Moreover, according to the report one in three children who are born in poverty will remain in this situation also as an adult.

For this reason, UNICEF is calling for new support to strengthen its capacity in the support of children in these affected areas and recently, the organization partnered the “EU Child Guarantee initiative” to mitigate the impact of poverty on children together with the EU Commission and several EU countries.

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by Alexia Tenneriello

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